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BLM LIBRARY 





U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Las Vegas Field Office 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 



May 1998 



PROPOSED 

LAS VEGAS RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 
PLAN AND FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT STATEMENT 



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Summary, Purpose and Need, 
Alternatives, Affected Environment, 
Impacts, Consultation & Coordination, 
and Plan Implementation, Maintenance, 
and Amendment 







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MISSION STATEMENT 

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for the stewardship of our public lands. It is 
committed to manage, project, and improve these lands in a to manner to serve the needs of the 
American people for all times. Management in based upon the principles of multiple use and 
sustained yield of our nation's resources within a framework of environmental responsibility and 
scientific technology. These resources include recreation, rangelands, timber, minerals, watershed, 
fish and wilderness, air and scenic, scientific and cultural. 



»Y 



BLM LiBRAK 

BLDG50ST-150A 
DENVER FEDERAL CEN 
h P.O. BOX 26047 
DENVER, 



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BLM/LV/PL-98/012+l 79 1 



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United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

Nevada State Office 

1340 Financial Blvd., P.O. Box 12000 

Reno, Nevada 89520-0006 



7- l A3 

v. / 



In Reply Refer To: 

1610 (LVFO) 

(NV930.1) (NV050) 



Dear Reader: 



i, 



98 



Enclosed for your review is the Proposed Las Vegas Resource Management Plan (Plan) and Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). This proposed Plan outlines the various decisions for 
management of renewable and non-renewable resources on approximately 3.3 million acres of public land 
in Clark and southern Nye counties, Nevada. The Plan is open for a 30 day protest period beginning with 
the date of this letter. 

This Proposed Plan and FEIS has been developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. This plan is a variation of 
Alternative E which was presented in the Supplement to the Draft Stateline Resource Management Plan 
released in May 1994 and as modified by public comment. This document contains a summary of the 
decisions and resulting impacts, an overview of the planning process and planning issues, the Proposed 
Plan, a summary of written and verbal comments received during public review of the Draft Plan and 
Supplement, and responses to the substantive issues raised during the review. 

The proposed Plan may be protested by any person who participated in the planning process, and who has 
an interest which is or may be, adversely affected by the approval of the proposed Plan. A protest may 
raise only those issues which were submitted for the record during the planning process (see 43 Code of 
Federal Regulations 1610.5-2). Protests must be filed with the Director, Bureau of Land Management, 
Attn. Ms. Brenda Williams, Protests Coordinator, WO-210/LS-1075, Department of Interior, Washington 
D.C. 20240. 



All protests must be written and must be postmarked on or before July 14, 1998 and shall contain the 
following information: 

The name, mailing address, telephone number, and interest of the person filing the protest. 
A statement of the issue or issues being protested. 

• A statement of the part or parts of the document being protested. 

• A copy of all documents addressing the issue or issues previously submitted during the planning 
process by the protesting party, or an indication of the date the issue or issues were discussed for 
the record. 

A concise statement explaining precisely why the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State 
Director's decision is wrong. 

Upon resolution of any protests, an Approved Plan and Record of Decision will be issued. The approved 
Plan/Record of Decision will be mailed to all individuals who participated in this planning process and all 
other interested publics upon their request. 



Sincerely, 

Robert V. Abbey / 
State Director, Nevada 



COVER SHEET 

PROPOSED LAS VEGAS RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN 
AND FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



( ) DRAFT 
Lead Agency: 

Project Location: 

For Further Information Contact: 



(X) FINAL 



U.S. Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 

Clark and Southern Nye Counties, Nevada 

Dan Morgan 

Assistant District Manager Renewable Resources 

Las Vegas Field Office 

Telephone (702) 647-5060 



Abstract: The Proposed Las Vegas Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact 

Statement provides a comprehensive framework for managing public lands administered by the 
Las Vegas Field Office, Las Vegas District, Bureau of Land Management. 

The preparation of this document was coordinated with numerous individuals, Federal and State 
agencies, special interest groups, and County governments. 



Date Proposed Plan Issued: 
Protests, if any, are to be filed with: 



Overnight Mail Address for Protests: 



To expedite consideration, in addition to 
the original sent by mail or overnight mail, 
a copy of the protest may be sent by: 

Date Protests Must be Postmarked: 



June 15, 1998 

Director, Bureau of Land Management 

Attn: Ms. Brenda Williams, Protests Coordinator 

WO-210/LS-1075 

Department of the Interior 

Washington, D.C. 20240 

Director, Bureau of Land Management 

Attn: Ms. Brenda Williams, Protests Coordinator (WO-210) 

1620 L Street, N.W., Rm 1075 

Washington, D.C. 20036 

Phone: (202)452-5110 



FAX to (202) 452-5112 or 
E-Mail to bwilliam@wo.blm.gov 

July 14, 1998 



Responsible Official for Proposed Plan: 




Robert V. Abbey 
State Director, Nevada 



t>-/S'?£< 



Date 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



SUMMARY 

Introduction 

Summary of All Alternatives 

Summary of Impacts of the Alternatives 

CHAPTER 1 - PURPOSE AND NEED 

Introduction 



Purpose and Need 

Description of the Planning Area , 

Planning Process Overview 

Planning Issues and Criteria 

Consistency with Other Plans 



1 

S-l 
S2-1 



1-1 
1-1 
1-2 

1-4 

1-5 

1-11 



CHAPTER 2 - ALTERNATTVES 

Introduction 



Range of Alternatives 

Alternatives Considered but Dropped 

Alternatives Considered in the Draft and Supplement 

Changes from the Draft to the Final RMP/EIS 

The Proposed RMP/EIS 

Air Resource Management 

Soils Resource Management 

Water Resource Management 

Riparian Management 

Vegetation Management 

Visual Resource Management 

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 

Special Status Species Management 

Forestry Management 



Livestock Grazing Management 

Wild Horse and Burro Management , 

Cultural Resource Management 

Lands Management 



Rights-of-Way Management . 

Acquisition Management 

Recreation Management 



Wild and Scenic River Management 

Wilderness Management 

Minerals Management 



Hazardous Materials Management 
Fire Management 



2-1 

2-1 

2-2 

2-2 

2-3 

2-7 

2-8 

2-8 

2-8 

2-9 

2-9 

2-10 

2-10 

2-10 

2-17 

2-20 

2-20 

2-21 

2-22 

2-23 

2-26 

2-28 

2-28 

2-34 

2-34 

2-35 

2-38 

2-38 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 



CHAPTER 3 - AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 

Introduction ■_ 



Air Resource Management 

Soils Resource Management _ 
Water Resource Management, 
Riparian Management 



Vegetation Management 

Visual Resource Management 

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management, 
Forestry Management 



Livestock Grazing Management 

Wild Horse and Burro Management , 

Cultural Resource Management 

Lands Management 



Rights-of-Way Management , 
Natural Areas Management _ 
Recreation Management 



Wild and Scenic River Management , 

Wilderness Management 

Minerals Management 



Hazardous Materials Management, 
Fire Management 



Socio-Economic Values 



3-1 
3-2 
3-7 
3-15 
3-21 
3-22 
3-30 
3-32 
341 
3-43 
3-48 
349 
3-54 
3-57 
3-58 
3-59 
3-63 
3-64 
3-73 
3-78 
3-78 
3-80 



CHAPTER 4- ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 

Introduction 



Analysis Guidelines 

Assumptions for Analysis 

Assessment of the Consequences 

Air Resource Management 

Soils Resource Management 

Water Resource Management 

Riparian Management 



Vegetation Management 

Visual Resource Management 

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management _ 

Livestock Grazing Management 

Wild Horse and Burro Management 

Cultural Resource Management 

Lands Management 



Rights-of-Way Management , 

Acquisition Management 

Recreation Management 



Wild and Scenic Rivers Management . 

Wilderness Management 

Minerals Management 

Fire Management 



4-1 

4-1 

4-1 

4-2 

4-2 

4-5 

4-7 

4-11 

4-14 

4-16 

4-17 

4-18 

4-23 

4-23 

4-24 

4-25 

4-26 

4-27 

4-27 

4-30 

4-30 

4-30 

4-32 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 

Socio-Economic Values 


4-32 


Cumulative Impacts 


4-33 




Introduction 


4-33 




Parameters 


4-33 




Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable Future Actions 


4-34 




Cumulative Impacts 

Unavoidable Impacts 

Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources 


4-53 
4-58 
4-59 


Short-term Uses and Long-term Productivity 

CHAPTER 5 - CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 

Introduction 


4-60 

5-1 


Public Scoping/Participation 


5-1 


Consultation and Coordination 


5-2 


Public Review/Comment and BLMs Responses 


5-3 


List of Prepares 


5-12 


CHAPTER 6 - PLAN IMPLEMENTATION, MAINTENANCE, AND AMENDMENT 

Introduction 


6-1 
6-1 


Plan 


Implementation 


Plan Maintenance 


6-1 


Plan Amendments 


6-1 


Plan Amendment Process 


6-2 


Plan Amendment Information 


6-3 


LIST OF TABLES 

1-1. Surface Ownership of Lands 


1-3 


1-2. 


Federal Ownership of the Mineral Estate 


1-3 


2-1. 
2-2. 


Erosion Condition and Susceptibility 
Desert Tortoise ACECs 


2-9 
2-11 


2-3. 


Archaeological and Cultural Resources ACECs 


2-12 


2-4. 


Archaeological and Cultural Resources ACECs within Gold Butte ACEC 


2-13 


2-5. 


Special Wildlife and Riparian ACECs 


2-14 


2-6. 


Combination Values ACECs 


2-15 


2-7. 


Bighorn Sheep Habitat Management Areas 


2-16 


2-8. 


Kind of Livestock 


2-20 


2-9. 


Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas 


2-22 


2-10. 

2-11. 


Management Direction for Archeological Site Types 
Disposal Areas 


2-24 
2-26 


2-12. 


Locations and Areas Closed to Mineral Entry 


2-40 


3-1. 


Ambient Air Quality Standards 


3-3 


3-2. 


Las Vegas Estimated Emissions 


3-5 


3-3. 


Estimated Emissions Outside Las Vegas Valley 


3-6 


3-4. 


Erosion Susceptibility Classes and Acreage 


3-9 


3-5. 


Erosion Condition Classes and Acreage 


3-11 


3-6. 


Potential Soil Loss Estimates 


3-13 


3-7. 


Hydrographic Areas 


3-16 


3-8. 


Groundwater Statistics 


3-18 




iii 





TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) 



3-9. 

3-10. 

3-11. 

3-12. 

3-13. 

3-14. 

3-15. 

3-16. 

3-17. 

3-18. 

3-19. 

3-20. 

3-21. 

3-22. 

3-23. 

3-24. 

3-25. 

3-26. 

3-27. 

3-28. 

3-29. 

3-30. 

3-31. 

4-1. 

4-2. 

4-3. 

4-4. 

4-5. 

4-6. 

4-7. 

4-8. 

4-9. 

4-10. 

4-11. 

5-1. 

5-2. 

5-3. 



Known Springs Within Las Vegas District 
Riparian Inventory 



Vegetation Communities in Las Vegas District , 

Range Forage Condition 

Ecological Status 



Professional Judgement of Ecological Status 

Current/Historic Bighorn Sheep Habitat and Populations . 
Estimated Densities of Tortoise 



Estimated Tortoise Numbers in Proposed ACECs and Adjacent Habitats. 
Federally Listed T&E and Candidate Plants 



BLM Sensitive Plant Species & State of NV Critically Endangered Plants_ 

Livestock Allotment Use 

Livestock Range Studies 



Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas 

Distribution of Archaeological Sites in Las Vegas District 

Estimated Number of Archaeological Sites in Las Vegas District , 

Estimated Visitor Use in Las Vegas District 

Special Recreation Permits 



Land Status Within Virgin River Area . 
Wilderness Study Areas 



Summary of 10 Year Fire History 

Clark and Nye County Earnings by Major Industries 

Clark and Nye County Employment by Major Industries 
Soil Losses Within Grazing Allotments 



Soil Losses Within Herd Management Areas 

Proposed Fish and Wildlife Habitat Improvements 
Proposed Range Improvements 



Projections of Lands Actions Over the Next 20 Years 

Projected Quantity of Materials and Surface Disturbance-Exploration Wells 
Projected Disturbance Following Leaseable Mineral Actions 



Projected Disturbance-Locatable Minerals Plans of Operation 

Projected and Current Disturbances for Future Locatable Actions 
Major Paved Road Systems 



Projected Disturbance-Saleable Minerals Operations 
List of Preparers 



List of Reviewers and Technical Support and Guidance , 
Management Support and Guidance 



3-23 
3-27 
3-28 
3-31 
3-31 
3-31 
3-33 
3-38 
3-39 
342 
3-42 
345 
347 
349 
3-51 
3-52 
3-59 
3-60 
3-64 
3-65 
3-80 
3-86 
3-87 
4-6 
4-7 
4-35 
4-35 
4-38 
446 
447 
448 
4-50 
4-52 
4-54 
5-12 
5-13 
5-14 



LIST OF MAPS 

1-1. Stateline Resource Area General 

1-2. Land Ownership and Administration 

2-1. Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas 

2-2. Traditional Lifeways Areas 

2-3. Land Disposal Areas 

2-4. Utility Corridors 

2-5. Special Recreation Management Areas 

2-6. Wilderness Study Areas 

2-7. Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 



IV 



, 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (Concluded) 



2-8. Grazing Allotments Open 

2-9. Visual Resource Management 

2-10. ORV Designations 

2-11. Suppression Areas/Zones and Prescribed Burns 

2-12. Material Sites Rights-of-Way Part 1 

2-13. Material Sites Rights-of-Way Part 2 

3-1. Soils General 

3-2. Erosion Susceptibility Class 

3-3. Erosion Condition Class 

3-4. Hydro Basins 

3-5. Vegetation Communities 

3-6. Special Status Plant Species 

3-7. Bighorn Sheep 

3-8. Mule Deer 

3-9. Upland Game Habitat 

3-10. Special Status Species Animals 

3-11. Oil and Gas Potential Leases 

3-12. Sodium and Potassium 

3-13. Salable Mineral Potential 

3-14. Locatable Mineral Potential 

3-15. Updated Plans of Operation 

3-16. Updated Notices 

3-17. Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 

LIST OF APPENDICES 



Appendix A 
Appendix B 
Appendix C 
Appendix D 
Appendix E 
Appendix F 
Appendix G 
Appendix H 
Appendix I 
Appendix J 
Appendix K 
Appendix L 
Appendix M 
Appendix N 
Appendix O 



Species List for Clark and Nye Counties 

Special Status Species 

Wild and Scenic Rivers 



Public Land Classifications 

Livestock Grazing Ephemeral Range 
Biological Opinion 



Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards 
State of Nevada Water Quality Standards 



Cumulative Analysis for the Northeastern Mojave Recovery Unit 
Stipulations for ORV permits 



Area of Critical Environmental Concern Nominations 

BLM Standards and Guidelines for Nevada 

Standard Operating Procedures 



Desired Plant Community Criteria for Desert Tortoise Habitat, 
Public Comments and BLM Responses 



A-l 
B-l 
C-l 
D-l 
E-l 
F-l 
G-l 
H-l 
1-1 
J-l 
K-l 
L-l 
M-l 
N-l 
0-1 



GLOSSARY AND LIST OF ACRONYMS 



REFERENCES 



INDEX 



GL-1 

R-l 

ID-1 



]•■■■ 



SUMMARY 



The Las Vegas Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement identifies future 
management in the form of objectives and management directions for 3.3 million acres of public land in Clark 
and Nye Counties, located in southern Nevada. 

The following Summary Tables (SI and S2) present a comparison of all the alternatives and impacts of each 
alternative as compared to the no action alternative. The components of the various alternative are summarized 
in Table SI and are further described in Chapter 2. The impacts anticipated are summarized in Table S2 and are 
more fully detailed in Chapter 4. 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Air Resource 
Management 


Compliance with Clean Air Act; 
project specific mitigation 


Compliance with all Federal, State and 
local air quality standards and 
regulations, including Clean Air Act; 
Project specific mitigation 


Same as A 


Soil Resource 
Management 


Maintain/improve watershed 
condition to reduce erosion and 
sedimentation and to enhance site 
productivity 


Determine watershed potential; 
undertake actions to reduce erosion 
and sedimentation while enhancing 
site productivity 


Same as A 




Project specific mitigation based 
upon soil surface factor classes 


Project specific mitigation based on 
erosion condition classes and erosion 
susceptibility ratings 


Same as A 




Develop watershed management 
plans for Virgin River, Muddy River 
and Meadow Valley Wash 


Prepare watershed management plans 
where other management plans cannot 
adequately address the situation 


Same as A 


Water Resource 
Management 


Maintain existing waters at the 
source; fence to prevent degradation 
of the source or associated riparian 
area; 


Determine amount of water needed to 
meet management objectives. File for 
appropriative water rights on public 
and acquired lands, in accordance with 
State water laws, for those waters not 
federally reserved 


Same as A 




Minimize non-point pollution from 
BLM- initiated and authorized 
actions; Where appropriate institute 
Best Management Practices to control 
non-point source pollution 


Minimize both point and non-point 
sources of pollution following Best 
Management Practices 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Determine instream flow requirements 
and apply for necessary water rights 
on the Virgin River and in Meadow 
Valley Wash 


Same as A 




Maintain or improve the water 
quality of streams and springs in 
accordance with State and Federal 
regulations. 


Maintain the quality of waters 
presently in compliance and improve 
the quality of those waters found to be 
in non-compliance with State and/or 
Federal water quality standards 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 



S-l 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


On those watersheds that exhibit 
good potential for recovery, prepare 
and implement watershed 
management plans or address in 
other activity plans 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Obtain water rights to springs 
associated with the grazing 
privileges for allotments 
closed to grazing and maintain 
for wildlife, wild horses, 
burros, and riparian values; 
Determine amount of water 
needed to meet management 
objectives. File for 
appropriative water rights on 
public and acquired lands, in 
accordance with State water 
laws, for those waters not 
federally reserved 


Determine water needs to meet 
objectives; file for water rights on 
public and acquired lands for 
sources not federally reserved 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Minimize the threat of flood and 
sediment damage on populated areas 
from public land management 
actions by providing lands necessary 
to construct flood-control structures 



S-2 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 




Riparian 
Management 


Ensure that 75% of riparian areas are 
in proper functioning condition by 
1997 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 






Do not allow competitive off-road 
vehicle events within 1/4 mile of 
water sources 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 






Protect the Virgin River riparian zone 
from degradation 


Modify grazing systems or use 
protective fences, as needed to prevent 
further degradation and to aid in 
recovery of the Virgin River riparian 
zone 


Same as A 






Provide water for wildlife, wild 
horses and burros, and livestock; 
Fence riparian areas to exclude 
livestock and wild horses and burros; 
Provide water for livestock, wild 
horses and burros away from the 
source 


Use protective fencing as needed and 
provide alternative water sources 
and/or locations to prevent further 
degradation of and to aid in the 
recovery of spring associated riparian 
areas 


Same as A 






Retain all riparian areas in public 
ownership unless disposal would be 
in the public interest 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 






Give special attention to monitoring 
and evaluating management activities 
in riparian areas and revise 
management practices where site 
specific objectives are not being met 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 






Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Vegetation 
Management 


Continue existing rangeland 
monitoring studies and establish new 
studies as needed 


Determine ecologic status of plant 
communities on public lands and 
manage to achieve desired plant 
communities or potential natural 
community 


Same as A 





5-3 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



Same as No Action; Complete 
inventory of riparian areas by 
1995 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Ensure that all riparian areas are in 
proper functioning condition; 
Complete assessments on all 
riparian areas; establish a schedule 
for actions necessary to achieve 
proper functioning condition 



Do not allow competitive off -road 
vehicle events within 1/4 mile of 
natural water sources associated 
with riparian areas 



Ensure that all riparian areas are in 
proper functioning condition 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Improve riparian areas with priority 
given to those that are functioning 
at risk with a downward trend; Use 
appropriate measures necessary for 
improvement, including fencing 
and/or alternate water sources away 
from the riparian area 



Retain riparian areas and mesquite 
woodlands in federal ownership, 
unless disposal is in the public 

interest 



Establish the following criteria 
for water utilization of springs 
and associated riparian areas; 
50% for riparian; 25% for 
wildlife; 15% for wild horses 
and burros; and 10% for 
livestock (25% will be 
allocated for wild horses and 
burros if no livestock grazing 
occurs and visa versal 



Ensure that the minimum 
requirement of Proper Functioning 
Condition on all riparian areas is 
maintained or achieved during any 
planning process 



Not addressed 



Determine ecologic status, 
woodland index or forage 
value rating, as determined by 
plant community surveys, on 
Public land and manage to 
achieve desired plant 
communities or potential 
natural community 



Maintain or improve the condition 
of vegetation on public lands to a 
desired plant communities or 
potential natural community 



S-4 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Vegetation 
Management 

(con't) 


Not addressed 


Maintain or improve habitat of 
threatened or endangered plant 

species 


Same as A 




Allow only minimal clearing of 
vegetation on project sites 


Allow construction, mining activity or 
off-road vehicle activity on threatened 
or endangered, or candidate plant 
species habitat only after appropriate 
mitigation 


Same as A 




Rehabilitate all disturbed sites where 
necessary and practical 


Provide for rehabilitation of disturbed 
areas on public land to maintain or 
restore plant productivity 


Same as A 


Visual Resource 
Management 


No Visual Resource Management 
classes; develop mitigation on a 
project specific basis 


Designate and manage the following 
Visual Resource Management Classes: 
1,125,415 acres class II; 1,867,657 
acres class HI; 678,055 acres class IV 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Areas of 
Critical 

Environmental 
Concern 


Not addressed 


Designate 1,151,938 acres as areas of 
critical environmental concern 


Designate 1,530,838 acres as areas 
of critical environmental concern 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Fish, Wildlife 
and Special 
Status Species 
Management 


Not addressed 


Designate 970,160 acres as tortoise 
areas of critical environmental concern 


Designate 1,346,200 acres as 
tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 




Provide special management 
consideration on Public lands within 
Clark County to protect and increase 
current populations of desert tortoise 


Maintain or improve habitat conditions 
on 970,160 acres of tortoise habitat to 
support current population levels of 
desert tortoise 


Maintain or improve habitat 
conditions on 1,346,200 acres of 
tortoise habitat to support current 
population levels of desert tortoise 



S-5 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Inventory special status plant 
species', take appropriate action J 
to protect their habitat 


See Fish, Wildlife and Special 
Status Species 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Develop appropriate mitigation 
measures before allowing 
construction, mining activity or 
off-road vehicle activity on 
known habitat for special 
status plant species 


See Fish, Wildlife and Special 
Status Species 




Same as A 


Same as A 


When feasible, rehabilitate, 
reclaim or revegetate areas 
subject to surface disturbing 
activities; 


Same as E 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate and manage the 
following: 968,890 acres class II; 
1,727,870 acres class III; 635,135 
acres class IV 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Update visual resource 
inventory; Adjust designations 
through a plan amendment 


Continue to refine the Visual 
Resource Management inventory to 
refine the database and ratings 




Designate 1,538,298 acres as 


Same as A 


Designate 969,600 acres as 


Designate 1,005,031 acres as areas 




areas of critical 




areas of critical environmental 


of critical environmental concern 




environmental concern 




concern 






Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Withdrawn lands relinquished by 
other Federal agencies and located 
within these areas would attain 
designated status immediately upon 
administrative control by BLM. All 
ongoing management guidance, 
restrictions and directions would 
apply to relinquished lands. 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Portions of wilderness study areas 
within areas of critical 
environmental concern would fall 
under management guidance, 
restrictions and directions for the 
area of critical environmental 
concern, when released by Congress 




Designate 1,356,680 acres as 


Same as A 


Designate 797,730 acres as 


Designate 743,209 acres as tortoise 




tortoise areas of critical 




tortoise areas of critical 


areas of critical environmental 




environmental concern 




environmental concern 


concern 




Maintain or improve habitat 


Same as A 


Manage desert tortoise habitat 


Same as E 




conditions on 1,356,680 




to achieve the recovery criteria 






acres of tortoise habitat to 




defined in the Tortoise 






support viable populations 




Recovery Plan 






of desert tortoise as defined 










in the Recovery Plan 











S-6 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish, Wildlife 
and Special 
Status Species 
Mgmt (con't) 


Not addressed 


Minimize impacts to tortoise habitat 
during fire suppression 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Remove wild horses and burros which 
expanded beyond existing herd 
management areas or into Ash 
Meadows Natl. Wildlife Refuge 


Same as A 




Encourage all public land users to 
travel only on existing roads or trails 
in crucial wildlife habitat; avoid new 
road or trail construction in crucial 
habitat 


Designate all areas of critical 
environmental concern as limited to 
designated roads and trails 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Monitor tortoise populations, habitat, 
activity plans, management decisions 
and compliance with stipulations to 
determine effectiveness of desert 
tortoise mitigation measures 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 



S-7 



IMMM1II 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage for zero wild horses 
and burros in tortoise areas of 
critical environmental concern 


Manage for zero wild horses and 
burros in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate all tortoise areas of 
critical environmental concern as 
LIMITED to designated roads and 
trails for all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Do not allow commercial collection 
of flora in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern; Only allow 
commercial collection of fauna upon 
completion of a scientifically 
credible study that demonstrates 
commercial collection does not 
adversely impact affected species or 
their habitat. This action will not 
affect hunting or trapping and casual 
collection as permitted by the State 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Implement monitoring and 
research dealing with 
management issues within 
desert tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as E 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Limit utility corridors to 3,000 
feet or less in width within 
areas of critical environmental 
concern 


Same as E 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Allow no new landfills in 
tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern. Close 
existing landfills by 1995 


Do not allow new landfills in 
tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Do not authorize military 
maneuvers in tortoise areas of 
critical environmental concern 


Same as E 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Require reclamation of 
activities which result in loss 
or degradation of tortoise 
habitat with areas to be 
reclaimed to pre-disturbance 
condition 


Same as E 



S-8 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish, WildUfe 
and Special 
Status Species 
Mgmt (con't) 


Not addressed 


Prohibit off-road vehicle competitive 
events in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Allow other types of events and 
commercial activities on a case-by- 
case basis in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Allow no new road construction or 
siting of ancillary facilities in bighorn 
lambing habitat 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Determine if predator control is 
necessary in tortoise habitat; minimize 
increase or spread of predator 
populations where they prey on 
tortoises 


Same as A 




Develop habitat management plans 
for the Virgin River and Big Dune 


Revise the Virgin River habitat 
management plan. Designate Big 
Dune, River Mts., and Amargosa 
Mesquite as areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as A 




Implement the Ash Meadows Habitat 
Management Plan 


Designate Ash Meadows as an area of 
critical environmental concern; Make 
BLM inholdings available for 
withdrawal by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Prohibit BLM authorized activities 
which would affect groundwater 
levels/spring flows in Ash Meadows 
and Moapa Valley 


Same as A 




Do not develop new dual-use 
allotments in bighorn sheep habitat; 
Do not authorize domestic sheep in 
McCullough Allotment 


Do not authorize domestic sheep 
grazing in allotments with bighorn 
sheep habitat 


Same as A 



S-9 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Do not allow speed off-road 
vehicle competitive events or 
off-road vehicle free play in 
tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Prohibit off-road vehicle speed 
events, mountain bike races, horse 
endurance rides, hill climbs, mini 
events, publicity rides, high speed 
testing and similar speed based 
events in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Allow non-speed off-road 
vehicle events and commercial 
activities on a case-by-case 
basis in tortoise areas of 
critical environmental concern 


Allow non-speed off-road vehicle 
events in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern consistent 
with restrictions in RC1 1 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Evaluate discretionary activities in 
bighorn sheep habitat Grant 
authorization if consistent with goals 
and objectives of the Rangewide 
Plan 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Animal damage control activities 
may be allowed on a temporary 
basis if necessary for 
reestablishment of native species or 
as a tool to allow recovery of 
decimated wildlife populations 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate Virgin River, River 
Mts., Amargosa Mesquite and 
Big Dune as areas of critical 
environmental concern; 


Same as E 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Prohibit BLM authorized land 
uses which would result in 
unmitigated, significant 
adverse impacts to ground 
water levels/spring flows in 
Moapa Valley and Ash 
Meadows area of critical 
environmental concern 


Manage public lands adjacent to the 
Ash Meadows Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern and Moapa 
Natl. Wildlife Refuge to 
complement spring and aquatic 
habitat for special status species, 
including projects that may affect 
ground water level or spring flows 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Do not authorize domestic 
sheep grazing in bighorn 
sheep habitat 


In accordance with BLM guidelines, 
no domestic sheep grazing will be 
authorized in bighorn sheep habitat 



S-10 



Table S-l Simfmwiy of the AMermatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish, Wildlife 
and Special 
Status Species 
Management 


All new livestock and wild horse and 
burro waters must not create new 
conflicts with fish or wildlife habitat 


Allow new water developments for 
wildlife, livestock, wild horses and 
burros in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern only if these 
developments do not create conflicts 
with desert tortoise 


Allow new water developments for 
wildlife, livestock, wild horses and 
burros in category I and II tortoise 
habitat only if these developments 
do not create conflicts with desert 
tortoise 




Impacts from mining to crucial 
bighorn sheep and desert tortoise 
habitat will be subject to mitigative 
measures during the plan of 
operations stage 


Prevent undue and unnecessary 
degradation of bighorn sheep habitat 
due to mineral exploration and 
development 


Same as A 


Identify habitat needs of wildlife and 
provide for these needs so as to 
I attain population goals, mutually 
j agreed to with NDOW for species. 


Allow wildlife populations to reach 
levels consistent with habitat carrying 
capacity; adjust populations using 
monitoring data 


Same as A 




Accomplish bighorn sheep 
introductions and permit natural 
expansion into historic habitat after 
preparation of a habitat management 
plan or release site description; 
Return native fauna to historic ranges 
and/or improve population numbers 


Allow reintroduction of wildlife 
species into tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern only if it will 
create no conflicts with tortoise 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Inventory/monitor peregrine falcon 
habitat; prevent undue and 
unnecessary degradation of habitat; 
prepare a habitat mgmt. plan for 
occupied habitat; close areas within 
1/2 mile of active nests between 
Feb.l-Sept.l; explore reintroduction of 
peregrine into suitable habitat 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Manage mesquite habitats for wildlife 
habitat values; Develop a management 
plan for Amargosa Mesquite areas of 
critical environmental concern 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Provide and maintain sufficient 
quality and quantity of food, water, 
cover and space to satisfy demands 
of all wildlife species. Give special 
emphasis to Federal and State 
classified species and to BLM 
sensitive species 


Maintain or improve the habitat of 
threatened, endangered or candidate 
plant species found on public lands 
(Vegetation Mgmt.) 


Same as A 


Forestry Allow greenwood cutting in the 
Resources Spring, Virgin, and McCullough 
Management j Mtns. 


Allow firewood harvest in Pahrump 
and Amargosa Hat; Limit to one 
cord/household/year with maximum of 
35 cords/year 


Same as A 



S-ll 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Allow new water 
developments for wildlife 
and wild horses and burros 
in tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern only 
if these do not create 
conflicts with desert tortoise 


Same as C 


Maintain existing wildlife 
waters; Construct new guzzlers 
as needed, consistent with 
other resource needs; 


Same as E; Desgin new waters for 
livestock, and wild horses and 
burros to reduce potential conflicts 
with wildlife 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Evaluate discretionary activities in 
bighorn sheep habitat on a case-by- 
case basis. Authorize if consistent 
with the Rangewide Plan 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Support viable and diverse native 
wildlife populations by providing 
sufficient quantity and quality of 
habitat 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Cooperate with State and Federal 
wildlife agencies in implementing 
introductions, reintroduction and 
augmentation releases of native or 
naturalized species 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Protect key nesting areas, migration 
routes, important prey base areas, 
and concentration areas for birds of 
prey on public lands through 
mitigation of activities during 
National Environmental Policy Act 
compliance 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage mesquite and Acacia 
habitats for wildlife habitat 
values 


Same as E; Only allow woodcutting 
where consistent with sustaining a 
healthy, vigorous plant community 
and viable wildlife populations 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Manage habitat to support elk which 
move onto BLM managed lands 
from the Spring Mts. in cooperation 
with Nevada Division of Wildlife 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Enter into conservation agreements 
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service and the State of Nevada for 
management of special status 
species to prevent future federal 
listing of such species 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Allow firewood harvest in 
Pahrump Valley; Limit to one 
cord per household/year 


Allow harvest of dead or down, or 
BLM marked green trees for dwarf 
mistletoe control only in approved 
areas; 



S-12 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Forestry 
Resources 
Management 
(con't) 


Coordinate the removal of native 
desert vegetation with the Nevada 
Division of Forestry 


Allow harvest of desert vegetation 
from areas subject to surface- 
disturbing activities 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Maintain 138,000 acres of pinyon- 
juniper and conifer forest at late serai 
stage or full ecological potential 


Same as A 


Livestock 

Grazing 

Management 


Allow livestock grazing on 2,237,478 
acres of public lands; Close part of 
Spring Mountain Allotment and all 
of River Mt. Allotment 


Allow livestock grazing on 2,036,933 
acres of public lands; 


Same as A 




Close the Ash Meadows Allotment to 
livestock grazing; do not authorize 
livestock grazing on the Carson 
Slough or Grapevine-Rock Valley 
Allotments until completion of 
Section 7 consultation 


Manage livestock grazing under 
constraints of Section 7 consultation; 
Grazing prescription 1 in category I, II 
and intensive III tortoise habitat; 
prescription 2 in category Illb habitat. 


Same as A 




Close that portion of Red Rock 
Canyon within the Spring Mountain 
Allotment, and the River Mountain 
Allotment to livestock gracing 


Allow no livestock grazing on 19 
allotments including unalloted areas 
in Nye County and riparian zones 
along the Muddy and Virgin Rivers, 
and Meadow Valley Wash; Do not 
authorize livestock grazing in Planning 
Area B, Southern Nye county except 
within the Mt. Stirling and County 
Line Allotments 


Same as A 




Develop allotment mgmt. plans for 
the 7 allotments in Clark County 
and one allotment in Southern Nye 
County 


Develop allotment mgmt. plans for 
"I" and "M" allotments 


Same as A 




Intensively manage 14 allotments, 
including Mt. Stirling; Manage 4 
allotments in the maintain 
management category guidelines 


Develop allotment mgmt. plans for 
"I" and "M" allotments 


Same as A 




Determine proper long-term stocking 
rates of domestic livestock on 
allotments, desirable numbers of wild 
horses and burros in herd mgmt. 
areas, and populations of mule deer 
and bighorn sheep in their existing 
and potential habitat 


Establish stocking level based on 
availability of ephemeral forage 


Same as A 



S-13 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Allow harvest of desert 


Public lands in Las Vegas District 






vegetation at those locations 


will be assessed for salvage of 






where surface disturbing 


desert vegetation where surface 






activities will occur 


disturbance occurs 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Maintain Pinyon Juniper 
woodland and conifer forest 
where possible for all aged 


Same as E 






stands 




Allow livestock grazing on 


Allow livestock grazing on 


Allow livestock grazing on 


Allow livestock grazing on 610,893 


1,001,767 acres of public 


1,902,881 acres of public 


692,844 acres of public lands; 


acres of public lands; 


lands; limit livestock grazing 


lands 






in desert tortoise habitat 








Same as A 


Close allotments in tortoise 


In tortoise habitat outside of 


Manage open allotments consistent 




areas of critical 


areas of critical environmental 


with grazing prescription 2; 




environmental concern to 


concern, manage for grazing 


eliminate livestock grazing in 




livestock grazing 


prescription 2 on open 


tortoise areas of critical 






allotments; eliminate livestock 


environmental concern 






grazing in tortoise areas of 








critical environmental concern 




Allow no livestock grazing 


Allow no livestock grazing 


Allow no livestock grazing on 


Allow no livestock grazing on 38 


on 19 allotments, Amargosa 


on 28 allotments; Do not 


40 allotments 


allotments and all unalloted areas in 


Valley/Crater Flat, the 


allow grazing in these areas: 




Southern Nye County; Additional 


riparian zones along the 


Amargosa Valley/Crater 




allotment closures could be 


Muddy and Virgin Rivers, 


Flat, along the Muddy and 




approved based on voluntary 


and Meadow Valley Wash, 


Virgin Rivers, and Meadow 




relinquishment of grazing privileges, 


and within allotments 


Valley Wash 




permits or leases 


containing desert tortoise 








habitat 








Same as A 


Same as A 


Completion of an allotment 


Establish grazing systems, including 






management plan and 


rest and/or deferment principles as 






environmental assessment 


needed to meet specific resource 






required to reactivate any 


objectives 






inactive ephemeral-perennial or 








perennial allotment 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Drop existing categories from 
allotments closed to livestock 
grazing; Change Lower Mormon 
Mesa from C to I and Flat Top 
Mesa from C to M 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Reclassify 21 allotments as 


Livestock grazing on ephemeral 






ephemeral/perennial; Set a total 


allotments will be allowed if 






of preference of 13,200 animal 


sufficient forage is available and use 






unit months; 33 allotments 


is consistent with the Standards and 






remain ephemeral 


Guidelines, and allotment specific 
objectives 



S-14 



: 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Livestock 

Grazing 

Management 


Manage perennial vegetation at a 
proper utilization rate to obtain a 
sustained yield and improve livestock 
forage condition 


Maintain/improve condition of 
vegetation to desired plant community 
or potential natural community 


Same as A 


Wild Horse and 

Burro 

Management 


i 
Manage wild horses and burros in 

the Gold Butte, Muddy Mtns., Spring 

Mtns., and Eldorado Mtns. herd 

mgmt. areas 


Maintain healthy, viable herds in 
thriving ecological balance in the herd 
mgmt. areas 


Same as A 




Develop herd management area plans 
for the following herd mgmt. areas: 
Mt. Stirling, Amargosa, and Last 
Chance herd mgmt. areas; Maintain 
Ash Meadows Herd Management 
Area as a horse free area 


Develop herd management area plans 
for each herd mgmt. area 


Same as A 




Manage wild horse and burro 
numbers at current population levels 
unless monitoring indicates that 
adjustments are necessary 


Develop Long-Term Management 
Levels for wild horses and burros 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Realign herd mgmt. area boundaries 
in the following areas to gain more 
management control of populations: 
Red Rocks, Lucky Strike, Johnnie, 
and Trout Canyon herd mgmt. areas 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Maintain or improve wild horse and 
burro habitat to desired plant 
community or potential natural 

community 


Same as A 




Not specifically addressed 


Develop dependable water sources for 
wild horses and burros 


Same as A 


Cultural 
Resource 
Management 


Develop cultural resource 
management plans for Willow 
Springs and Muddy Mtns; prepare 
interpretive signs and a brochure for 
Willow Springs 


Develop project plans for the 
following: Old Spanish Trail/Mormon 
Road; Las Vegas and Tonopah 
Railroad; Red Spring; Sandstone 
Quarry; Willow Spring; and Whitney 
Pockets sites to manage for public 
values 


Same as A 



S-15 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



Same as A 



In herd management areas 
which are not managed for 
zero appropriate management 
level, maintain healthy, viable 
herds in thriving ecological 
balance 



Same as A 



Provide for increased plant vigor 
and reproductive capability of 
perennial forage; Maintain static to 
upward trend on key perennial 
species through livestock grazing 
management 



Same as E 



Same as A 



Establish appropriate 
management levels for each 
herd mgmt. area; Establish an 
appropriate management level 
of zero for Gold Butte, 
Eldorado, Amargosa and Ash 
Meadows herd mgmt. areas 



Combine Last Chance and Mt. 
Stirling herd mgmt. area into 
the Johnnie Herd Mgmt. Area; 
Realign the Spring Mt. Herd 
Mgmt. Area to create the 
Spring Mt Herd Mgmt. Area 
managed by the Forest 
Service and Red Rock Herd 
Mgmt. Area managed by BLM 



Establish appropriate management 
level for each herd mgmt. area; 
Establish an appropriate 
management level of zero for 
Eldorado, Ash Meadows and 
Amargosa mgmt. areas; Do not 
allow use by horses and burros in 
that part of the Gold Butte Herd 
Mgmt Area which overlaps with the 
tortoise area of critical 
environmental concern 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Realign the following herd 
management areas to facilitate 
management considerations with 
distinct population units: Johnnie, 
Red Rocks and Wheeler Pass 



Limit utilization of current years 
production by all herbivores on key 
perennial species to 50% for grasses 
and 45% for shrubs 



Same as A 



Selected cultural resources should 
be designated as priorities for 
activity planning and to determine 
best use potential including: Gold 
Butte, Crescent, Goodsprings, 
Searchlight and Hidden Valley 



S-16 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Cultural 

Resources 

Management 

(con 't) 


Preserve a representative sample of 
line shacks, mining cabins, and other 
isolated historic structures 


Designate 13 areas of critical 
environmental concern (20,020 acres) 
for identified National Register 
eligible or listed sites (cultural acreage 
in the following includes only 5,840 
acres in Red Rock, 320 acres in 
Sunrise Mountain and 5,000 acres in 
Virgin River areas of critical 
environmental concern) 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Research Virgin River Anasazi district 


Same as A 




Provide fire protection for Mt. Potosi 
Cabin, Wheeler Pass Charcoal Kilns, 
Searchlight Mining District, Virgin 
Mountain Cabin, Goodsprings 
Mining District, Trout Canyon Cabin, 
Mt. Potosi Mines, South McCullough 
Wickiup, and the Crescent Peak 
District 


Manage cultural resources at Red 
Rock and Stump Springs, Hidden 
Valley district. Bird Spring site, Sloan 
rock art site, Crescent; Gold Butte; 
Goodsprings; and Searchlight mining 
districts; and South Virgin Peak Ridge 
district for conservation of scientific or 
historic values 


Same as A 






Manage cultural resources within 
Arrow Canyon rock art district, 
Brownstone Canyon district, Keyhole 
Canyon, Frenchman Mine, and 
Gypsum Cave for public values 


Same as A 






Initiate regular and systematic patrols 
of specific areas and/or sites with 
high cultural sensitivity 


Use surveillance to monitor known 
cultural and paleontological sites; 
install protective devices as 
appropriate 


Same as A 




Protect and preserve important 
paleontological sites 


Designate 40 acre area of critical 
environmental concern within Arrow 
Canyon Bird Track paleontological 
district 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Manage 12,000 acres within Muddy 
Creek and Eglingston Escarpment 
districts for information potential 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Designate Gold Butte/Virgin Mountain 
traditional lifeway area 


Same as A 




Determine sources of deterioration 
and priorities for preservation 
through field evaluations of all 
cultural resource sites 


Same as A 


Same as A 



S-17 



- 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate 13 areas of critical 
environmental concern 
(20,650 acres) for identified 
National Register Eligible or 
listed sites (subtract 5,840 
acres for Red Rock, add 150 
acres to Crescent, add 6,320 
acres for new Arden Historic 
area) 


Designate 12 areas of critical 
environmental concern (20,520 
acres) for identified National 
Register Eligible or listed sites (less 
160 acres at Bird Spring in Red 
Rock Canyon, subtract 110 acres 
from Crescent, add 140 acres to 
Keyhole Canyon) 




Same as A 

» 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage cultural resources on 1,500 
acres of public land within the 
Virgin River Anasazi district for the 
potential to yield historic or 
scientific information 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage cultural resources on 
11,759 acres at Red Rock Spring; 
Stump Spring; Hidden Valley 
district; Sloan Rock Art district; 
Crescent and Gold Butte, mining 
townsites; and S. Virgin Peak Ridge 
for conservation of scientific or 
historic values 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage cultural resources on 3,660 
acres w/in Arrow Canyon rock art 
district; Keyhole Canyon; 
Frenchman Mine and Gypsum Cave 
for public values 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 




Same as A 


Same as A 


J Same as A 


Not addressed 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate Gold Butte/Virgin 
Mountain, Quail Spring/Bird 
Spring and Spirit Mountain 
traditional lifeway areas 


Manage cultural resources on 
200,000 acres of traditional lifeway 
areas for their sociological values by 
providing for their protection and 
preservation 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Utilize data recovery efforts through 
research designs to mitigate adverse 
effects to cultural resources and 
paleontological sites from proposed 
federal actions 





S-18 







Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 




Lands 
Management 


Dispose of 163,673 acres of public 
lands by the most appropriate 
authority 


155,258 acres are available for 
discretionary disposal through sale, 
exchange, color-of-title or recreation 
and public purpose patent 


540,171 acres are available for 
discretionary disposal through 
sale, exchange, color-of-title or 
recreation and public purpose 
patent 






Grant leases/permits under Sec. 302 of 
the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) for private 
or commercial uses throughout the 
| planning area on a case-by-case basis 


Grant leases/permits (Sec. 302 of 
FLPMA) for private and commercial 
uses (areas of critical environmental 
concern excluded) on a case-by-case 
basis 


Same as A 






Grant leases for agricultural uses 
throughout the planning area for the 
Muddy River and Virgin River 
floodplain 


All public lands are closed to 

agricultural entry 


Same as A 






Grant airport leases within Clark 
County 


Grant airport leases (areas of critical 
environmental concern excluded) on a 
case-by-case basis in the following 
areas: within a 2 mile radius of Jean 
and Searchlight and within a 3 mile 
radius of Pahrump 


Grant airport leases (areas of 
critical environmental concern 
excluded) on a case-by-case basis 




Rights-of-Way 
Management 


Designate 61 miles of utility corridors 
(for planning purposes) in Planning 
Area B of southern Nye County 


Designate 590 miles of utility 
corridors (for planning purposes) in 
Clark and southern Nye counties 


Same as A 






Not addressed 


Exclusive of designated corridors, 
designate all areas of critical 
environmental concern, semi-primitive 
non-motorized Recreational 
Opportunity Spectrum areas 
(hereinafter referred to as semi- 
primitive, non-motorized areas), 
significant caves (within 1/4 mile), 
wilderness study areas, and Red Rock 
Canyon National Conservation Area 
(hereinafter referred to as Red Rock 
Canyon) as right-of-way avoidance 
areas (1,938,845 acres) 


Exclusive of designated corridors, 
designate all areas of critical 
environmental concern, semi- 
primitive non-motorized areas, 
significant caves, wilderness study 
areas, and Red Rock Canyon as 
right-of-way avoidance areas 
(2,317,745 acres) 













S-19 



ggasaaiss.' -'tmmin ma ™*™°'- , -' r '"' , '"'~' 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



98,943 acres are available 
for discretionary disposal 
through sale, exchange, 
color-of-title or recreation 
and public purpose patent 



All public lands are closed 
to leases/permits (Sec. 302 
of FLPMA) 



Same as A 



540,171 acres are available 
for discretionary disposal 
through sale, color-of-title, 
or recreation and public 
purpose patent; all public 
lands (excluding areas of 
critical environmental 
concern and wilderness 
study areas) are available for 
exchange 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Designate 476 miles of 
utility corridors (for 
planning purposes) in Clark 
and southern Nye counties 



111,563 acres are available for 
discretionary disposal through 
sale, exchange, color-of title or 
recreation and public purpose 
patent 



Same as A 



Same as A 



175,314 acres are available for 
discretionary disposal through 
sale, exchange, color-of title or 
recreation and public purpose 
patent. Public lands outside of 
disposal ares would be 
considered for repositioning to 
consolidate BLM parcels and 
improve BLM management if 
specific criteria are met 



Same as A 



Exclusive of designated 
corridors, designate all areas 
of critical environmental 
concern, semi-primitive 
non-motorized areas, 
significant caves, wilderness 
study areas, and Red Rock 
Canyon as right-of-way 
avoidance areas (2,325,205 
acres) 



Same as B 



Designate 536 miles of 
utility corridors (for 
planning purposes in Clark 
and southern Nye counties 



Same as A 



Same as B 



Designate 538 to 560 miles of 
utility corridors (for planning 
purposes in Clark and southern 
Nye counties 



Exclusive of designated corridors, 
designate all areas of critical 
environmental concern and 
significant caves as right-of-way 
avoidance areas (971,231 acres) 



Public lands within the District 
are not suitable for entry under 
Indian Allotment, Desert Land 
Entry or Carey Act and would 
not be disposed of through those 
authorities 



Same as B 



Designate 538 miles of utility 
corridors (for planning purposes 
in Clark and southern Nye 
counties 



Exclusive of designated 
corridors, designate all areas of 
critical environmental concern 
and significant caves as right-of- 
way avoidance areas. Under 
Interim Management Policy, 
wilderness study areas are 
managed as right-of-way 
avoidance areas ( 1,351,536 
acres) 



S-20 





Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 


Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Rights-of-Way 
Management 

(con't) 


Not addressed 


Designate all areas of critical 
environmental concern as material site 
right-of-way exclusion areas 
(1,151,938 acres) 


Designate all Category I tortoise 
habitat as material site right-of- 
way exclusion areas (364,000 
acres) 


Acquisitions 


Acquire private and State of Nevada 
lands within Red Rock Canyon 


Acquire private lands within 
designated areas of critical 
environmental concern (4,797 acres); 
and 7,882 acres conveyed to Aerojet 


Acquire private lands within 
designated areas of critical 
environmental concern (9,049 
acres) 




Not addressed 


Obtain an easement on or across 
Pabco Tram Road 


Same as A 


Recreation 
Management 


Manage Red Rock Canyon, Clark, 
and Spring Mtn. special recreation 
management areas, and the Stateline 
Extensive Recreation Management 
Area, for recreational values 


Designate and manage 13 special 
recreation management areas, and 1 
extensive recreation management area 
for their specific recreational 
opportunities 


Same as A 




Manage the Las Vegas Dunes Off 
Highway Vehicle Play Area (9,180 
acres) for intensive off-highway 
vehicle recreational use 


Nellis Dunes Special Recreation 
Management Area,: Manage 9,180 
acres for intensive off-highway 
vehicle recreational use 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Stateline Extensive Recreation 
Management Area: Manage 
2,661,907 acres for dispersed and 
diverse opportunities that meet 
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 
objectives 


Same as A 



S-21 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Designate all areas of 


Designate all areas of 


Designate all tortoise areas of 


Designate Hidden Valley, Sloan 


critical environmental 


critical environmental 


critical environmental concern as 


Rock Art and Big Dune areas of 


concern as material site 


concern as area! right-of- 


material site right-of-way 


critical environmental concern as 


right-of-way exclusion areas 


way exclusion areas 


exclusion areas (968,031 acres) 


linear right-of-way exclusion 


(1,538,298 acres) 


(1,151,938 acres); designate 




areas (5,640 acres); With the 




Hidden Valley, Sloan Rock 




exception of within 1/2 mile of 




Art, and Big Dune areas of 




Federal Aid Highways, designate 




critical environmental 




all areas of critical 




concern as linear right-of- 




environmental concern as areal 




way exclusion areas (4,680 




right-of-way exclusion areas 




acres) 




(approximately 953,000 acres) 1 


Acquire private lands within 


Same as B 


Acquire undeveloped private 


Acquire private lands within 


designated areas of critical 




lands within designated areas of 


areas of critical environmental 


environmental concern and 




critical environmental concern 


concern, wilderness study areas, 


tortoise management areas 




and the Aerojet area; and private 


Congressionally designated areas 


(6,787 acres); in Ash 




lands along the Virgin River, 


and habitat for special status 


Meadows, only acquire 




south of Riverside 


species; including Aerojet, 


lands outside the refuge; 






private lands along the Virgin 


and 7,882 acres conveyed 






River, south of Riverside and 


to Aerojet 






other lands not specifically 
identified which would provide 
resource protection, improve 
land ownership patterns or 
enhance public uses and values 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Secure on the ground access to 
otherwise inaccessible public 
lands 


Designate 11 special 


" " " 

Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate 8 special recreation 


recreation management 






management areas, and 1 


areas, and 1 extensive 






extensive recreation management 


recreation management area 






area as shown on Map 2-5 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Manage the Nellis Dunes Special 
Recreation Management Area, 
(10,000 acres) for intensive off- 
highway vehicle recreational use 


Manage 2,753,732 acres of 


Same as A 


Manage 1,277,133 acres of 


Manage the Stateline Extensive 


Stateline Extensive 




Stateline Extensive Recreation 


Recreation Management Area 


Recreation Management 




Management Area for dispersed 


(Map 2-5) for dispersed and 


Area for dispersed and 




and diverse recreation 


diverse recreation opportunities 


diverse opportunities that 




opportunities that meet Recreation 


that meet Recreation Opportunity 


meet Recreation 




Opportunity Spectrum objectives 


Spectrum objectives 


Opportunity Spectrum 








objectives 









S-22 





Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 


Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Recreation 
Management 

(con't) 


Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events on 2,655,278 acres 

' 


Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events on 238,162 acres 
in special recreation management 
areas and in the Extensive Recreation 
Management Area in the following 
locations: Dry Lake Valley area; 
Pahrump to Beatty; Mt. 
Stirling/Mercury area; Highland Hills 
area; Laughlin area; Bitter Springs 
area 


Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events on 238,162 
acres in special recreation 
management areas and in the 
Extensive Recreation Management 
Area in the following locations: 
Dry Lake Valley area; Pahrump to 
Beatty; Mt. Stirling/Mercury; 
Highland Hills area 




Not addressed 


Allow competitive and commercial 
events which do not involve off- 
highway vehicles ,and recreation 
concessions in Stateline Extensive 
Recreation Management Area, subject 
to conflict resolution 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


Prohibit recreational and target 
shooting in the Las Vegas Valley; 
Legal hunting appropriate per Nevada 
Division of Wildlife regulations. 


Same as A 




Designate 2,900,998 acres as OPEN to 
all motorized and mechanized vehicles 


Designate 9,180 acres as OPEN to all 
motorized and mechanized vehicles 
(Nellis Dunes Special Recreation 
Management Area) 


Same as A 




Designate 696,175 acres as LIMITED 
to existing roads, trails, and washes 
for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 


Designate 2,524,889 acres as 
LIMITED to existing roads, trails, and 
washes for all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 


Designate 2,136,029 acres as 
LIMITED to existing roads, trails, 
and washes for all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 




Designate 70,641 acres as LIMITED 
to designated roads, trails, and washes 
for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 


Designate 1,124,868 acres as 
LIMITED to designated roads, trails, 
and washes for all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 


Designate 1,513,728 acres as 
LIMITED to designated roads, 
trails, and washes for all 
motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 




Designate 3,313 acres as CLOSED to 
all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles: Hidden Valley 


Designate 12,190 acres as CLOSED 
to all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles: Hidden Valley 


Same as A 




In wilderness study areas all vehicle 
use is LIMITED to existing roads, 
trails, and washes unless current 
designations are more restrictive 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 




Not addressed 


Determine primary resource value in 
each significant cave; Manage all 
caves and karsts as wild systems, free 
from commercial or show cave 
developments 


Same as A 



S-23 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (contii 


med) 




Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events on 
238,162 acres in special 
recreation management 
areas and in the Extensive 
Recreation Management 
Area in the following 
locations: one designated 
course, Pahrump to Beatty 


Same as A 


Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events in special 
recreation management areas and 
in the Extensive Recreation 
Management Area in the 
following locations: Dry Lake 
Valley, Pahrump Valley to 
Beatty, Mercury area, Laughlin 
area, Muddy Mountains, and 
Meadow Valley Wash Road 


Allow off-highway vehicle 
competitive events within 
specified special recreation 
management areas and the 
Extensive Recreation 
Management Area, exclusive of 
areas of critical environmental 
concern and wilderness study 
areas (Map 2-5) 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Designate 10,040 acres OPEN to 
all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles (Nellis Dunes, 1/2 Big 
Dune); Also, unvegetated 
portions of dry lake beds 


Designate 24,600 acres OPEN to 
all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles (Nellis Dunes, parts of 
Big Dune, dry lake beds) Map 2- 
10 




Designate 1,871,444 acres 
as LIMITED to existing 
roads, trails, and washes for 
all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 


Same as A 


Designate the remainder of the 
planning area as LIMITED to 
existing roads, trails, and washes 
for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 


Designate 2,186,483 acres as 
LIMITED to existing roads, 
trails, and washes for all 
motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 




Designate 1,777,313 acres 
as LIMITED to designated 
roads, trails, and washes for 
all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles 


Same as A 


Designate 1,310,000 acres as 
LIMITED to designated roads, 
trails, and washes for all 
motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 


Designate 1,117,252 acres as 
LIMITED to designated roads, 
trails, and washes for all 
motorized and mechanized 
vehicles 




Designate 13,190 acres as 
CLOSED to all motorized 
and mechanized vehicles: 
Hidden Valley and Big 
Dune 


Same as A 


Designate approx. 19,200 acres as 
CLOSED to all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles: Hidden 
Valley, Virgin River and 1/2 of 
Big Dune 


Designate approx. 3,560 acres as 
CLOSED to all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles: Hidden 
Valley and 200 acres at Big 
Dune 




Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A; If needed, 
implement seasonal closures to 
protect bats 





S-24 



1^ «Ht Ill Ml MMINI ■ IIIIBM^^^^g 





Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 


Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Wild and 
Scenic River 
Management 


Not addressed 


Coordinate with the Cedar City and 
Arizona Strip Districts on a formal 
study of the Virgin River for 
eligibility 


Same as A 


Wilderness 
Management 


Manage 21 wilderness study areas in 
accordance with the Interim 
Management Policy until designated 
or released by Congress 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 




Not addressed 


Release the Logandale Unit from 
further consideration as wilderness 


Same as A 




Not addressed 


If released by Congress, manage 
wilderness study areas in accordance 
with applicable special recreation 
management area or area of critical 
environmental concern management 
direction 


Same as A 


Minerals 
Management, 
Fluid Minerals 


All public lands within the planning 
area are OPEN for fluid mineral 
activities except for legislatively 
withdrawn areas and other withdrawn 
and segregated areas. Special 
stipulations may apply within crucial 
bighorn sheep habitat 


Allow fluid mineral leasing, subject to 
standard terms and conditions, on 

747,779 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, subject to 
seasonal and other minor constraints, 
on 3,205,952 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, subject to 
no surface occupancy and similar 
major constraints, on 15,133 acres; 

Do not allow fluid mineral leasing on 
716,226 acres; 


Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to standard terms and 
conditions, on 1,833,000 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to seasonal and other 
minor constraints, on 1,699,620 
acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to no surface occupancy 
and similar major constraints, on 
296,362 acres; 

Do not allow fluid mineral leasing 
on 856,108 acres 


Minerals 
Management, 
Locatable 
Minerals 


All public lands within the planning 
area are OPEN for locatable mineral 
activities except for legislatively 
withdrawn areas and other withdrawn 
and segregated areas 


Allow locatable mineral activity on 
3,703,833 acres 

Do not allow locatable mineral 
activity on 937, 100 acres 


Allow locatable mineral activity 
on 3,158,567 acres 

Do not allow locatable mineral 
activity on 1,482,870 acres 



S-25 



- ■■ - ^$&immMmHmmmmam^aB^a^mnmm$mfiM&^ 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Alternative E 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to standard terms 
and conditions, on 755,654 
acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to seasonal and 
other minor constraints, on 
1,886,509 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to no surface 
occupancy and similar 
major constraints, on 9,558 
acres; 

Do not allow fluid mineral 
leasing on 2,033,369 acres 



Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to standard terms 
and conditions, on 531,844 
acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to seasonal and other 
minor constraints, on 
3,936,500 acres; 

Do not allow fluid mineral 
leasing on 216,746 acres 



Allow locatable mineral 
activity on 2,328,265 areas 

Do not allow locatable 
mineral activity on 
2,312,668 acres 



Same as A 



Proposed 



Participate in an eligibility 
determination of the Virgin 
River for Wild and Scenic River 
designation when initiated by 
either Arizona or Utah BLM 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



If released by Congress, manage 
wilderness study areas to maintain 
existing qualities of the areas 
through multiple use management 



Allow fluid mineral leasing, 
subject to standard terms and 
conditions, on 4,051,661 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing 
subject to no surface occupancy 
and other major constraints on 
81,405 acres, plus acreage within 
Meadow Valley Wash, Muddy 
River and Virgin River riparian 
zones and flood plains; 

Do not allow fluid mineral 
leasing on 552,024 acres 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



If released by Congress, manage 
wilderness study area: to 
maintain existing qualities of 
the areas through multiple use 
management and to provide for 
semi-primitive recreation 
opportunities. 



Allow locatable mineral 
activity on 4,008,868 acres 

Do not allow locatable 
mineral activity on 632,065 
acres 



Allow locatable mineral activity 
on 1,812,320 acres 

Do not allow locatable mineral 
activity on 2,828,613 acres, plus 
acreage in Meadow Valley Wash, 
Virgin River and Muddy River 
riparian zones 



Allow fluid leasing subject to 
standard terms and conditions on 
1,909,351 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing 
subject to no surface occupancy 
stipulations on 866,067 acres; 

Allow fluid mineral leasing 
subject to Timing and Surface 
Use Constraints on 111,799 



Close Ash Meadows Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern 
to geothermal prospecting and 
leasing 



Allow locatable mineral activity 
on 2,135,146 acres 

Do not allow locatable mineral 
activity on 1,227,226 acres 



S-26 





Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 


Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Minerals 


The Las Vegas Valley is CLOSED to 


Deny existing sand and gravel 


Deny existing sand and gravel 


Management, 


sand and gravel sales except in 


applications; 


lease applications; 


Salable 


established community pits; free use 






Minerals 


permits will be issued; 


Close Las Vegas and Laughlin land 


Close Las Vegas and Laughlin 






disposal areas to mineral material 


land disposal areas to mineral 




Administer sand and gravel leases 


disposal (65,993 acres); 


material disposal (111,524 acres); 




within and outside of the Las Vegas 








Valley Subunit consistent with the 


Sand and gravel leasing same as No 


Sand and gravel leasing same as 




Clark County Management 


Action Alternative; 


No Action Alternative; 




Framework Plan amendment; 










Allow saleable mineral disposal on 


Allow saleable mineral disposal 




The remainder of the public lands are 


2,959,709 acres 


on 2,561,798 acres 




OPEN for saleable mineral activities 








except for legislatively withdrawn 


Do not allow saleable mineral 


Do not allow saleable mineral 




areas and other withdrawn and 


disposal on 1,682,219 acres 


disposal on 2,080,130 acres 




segregated areas 






Minerals 


All public lands within the planning 


Allow non-energy leasing on 


Allow non-energy leasing on 


Management, 


area are OPEN for non-energy 


3,943,316 acres 


3,522,205 acres 


Solid Leasable 


leasable mineral activities except for 






Minerals 


legislatively withdrawn areas and 








other withdrawn and segregated areas 


Do not allow non-energy leasing on 


Do not allow non-energy leasing 






721,759 acres 


on 1,142,870 acres 


Hazardous 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Materials 








Management 








Fire 


The entire planning area is a full 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


suppression area 








Develop a county-wide program to 


149,231 acres of public land are 


Same as A 




utilize prescribed burning and hazard 


available for prescribed burning for 






reduction burning to meet resource 


resource enhancement; 232,109 acres 






management needs as well as fire 


available for prescribed burning for 






management goals 


fuel hazard reduction 






Not specifically addressed 


Designate the following: 627,011 
acres as 10-acre initial attack area; 
1,921,794 acres as 100-acre initial 
attack area; 1,122,322 acres as 500- 
acre initial attack area 


Same as A 



S-27 



Table S-l Summary of the Alternatives (continued) 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Deny existing sand and 
gravel lease applications; 

Close Las Vegas and 
Laughlin land disposal areas 
to mineral material disposal 
(61,273 acres); 

Sand and gravel leasing 
same as No Action 
Alternative 

Allow saleable mineral 
disposal on 2,533,021 acres 

Do not allow saleable 
mineral disposal on 
2,108,907 acres 


Deny existing sand and 
gravel lease applications; 

Las Vegas and Laughlin 
land disposal areas are open 
to mineral material disposal 
(111,524 acres) 

Sand and gravel leasing 
same as No Action 
Alternative; 

Allow saleable mineral 
disposal on 4,035,390 acres 

Do not allow saleable 
mineral disposal on 606,538 
acres 


Do not approve or renew existing 
sand and gravel lease 
applications. Convert unrenewed 
leases to mineral material 
contracts within community pits; 

Do not allow the authorization or 
renewal of material site rights-of- 
way or mineral material disposal 
outside of community pits within 
the Las Vegas Valley non- 
attainment area; 

Allow saleable mineral disposal 
on 3,421,446 acres; 

Do not allow saleable mineral 
disposal on 1,220,482 acres, plus 
acreage within the riparian zones 
for Meadow Valley Wash, Virgin 
River and Muddv River 


After June 1, 1999, do not renew 
sand and gravel leases within 
areas identified for land disposal 

Allow saleable mineral disposal 
outside of areas listed in Table 
2-12 and outside of areas of 
critical environmental concern, 
except within 1/2 mile of Federal 
Aid Highways and specified 
County Roads in desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern and in the Government 
Wash Community Pit on the east 
edge of Rainbow Gardens Area 
of Critical Environmental 
Concern 

Do not allow saleable mineral 
disposal on approximately 
1,033,569 acres (Table 2-12) 


Allow non-energy leasing 
on 2,660,386 acres 

Do not allow non-energy 
leasing on 2,004,689 acres 


Allow non-energy leasing on 
4,448,329 acres 

Do not allow non-energy 
leasing on 216,746 acres 


Allow non-energy leasing on 
1,481,625 acres; 

Do not allow non-energy leasing 
on 3,183,450 acres, plus acreage 
within the riparian zones for 
Meadow Valley Wash, Virgin 
River and Muddv River 


Allow non-energy leasing on 
1,872,673 acres outside of 
riparian areas, disposal areas and 
areas of critical environmental 
concern 

Do not allow non-energy leasing 
on 1,033,569 acres (Table 2-12) 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Reduce risks associated with 
hazardous materials on public 
lands 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Provide fire suppression on 
3,331,895 acres based upon 
suppression areas/zones and 
resource management needs 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Allow prescribed fire for 
resource enhancement on those 
areas identified in Map 2-11 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Provide fire suppression efforts 
commensurate with resource and 
adjacent property values at risk 



S-28 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Air Resource Management 






From Vegetation 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


From Lands 
Management 


Increases of between 907 
and 2,384 tons per year in 
airborne particulates and 
91 to 238 tons per year of 
carbon monoxide in the 
Las Vegas Valley Non- 
Attainment Area (Non- 
Attainment Area). 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Recreation 
Management 


Off-highway vehicle 
events within or upwind 
of Las Vegas Valley could 
result in a temporary 
increase in airborne 
particulates in the Non- 
Attainment area. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Minerals 
Management 


Particulate emissions of 
900 tons per year within 
the Las Vegas Valley 
Non-Attainment Area 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Soil Resource Management 


From Livestock 
Grazing Management 


Loss of 650,654 tons per 
year on critical condition 
and highly susceptible 
soils; loss of 114,080 tons 
per year of saline soils. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 



S2-1 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


1 

Proposed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Windblown particulates 
would be reduced 
through the 
improvement of 
protective ground cover. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action, but 


Increases of 243 tons 






no quantification given 


per year in airborne 
particulates, 1,750 tons 
per year of carbon 
monoxide, 370 tons per 
year of VOC and NO x 
and 10.2 tons per year 
of S0 2 


Proper meteorological 


Same as No Action 


Given proper 


Events, if held upwind 


conditions could 




meteorological 


of the valley, would 


potentially result in a 




conditions, air quality in 


potentially contribute to 


temporary but significant 




the Non-Attainment 


short term further 


increase in airborne 




Area could temporarily 


degradation of the air 


particulates in the Non- 




further degrade during 


quality in Las Vegas 


Attainment Area, despite 




off -highway vehicle 


Valley 


limitations on off- 




events 




highway vehicle events 








Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Mineral activities could 


Sand and Gravel 






create significant 


operations in Las Vegas 






airborne particulates, 


Valley would produce 






especially in the Non- 


approximately 743 tons 






Attainment Area 


of PM 10 annually. 


Loss of 224,655 tons per 


Loss of 590,512 tons per 


Salt loading of the 


Soil loss of 224 tons per 


year on critical condition 


year on critical condition 


Colorado River drainage 


year from allotments 


and highly susceptible 


and highly susceptible 


due to impacts from 


remaining open to 


soils; loss of 1,905 tons 


soils; loss of 94,015 tons 


grazing would reduce 


grazing. This is a 


per year of saline soils. 


per year of saline soils. 


significantly due to 


savings of 966 tons per 






closure of many 


year soil loss if all 






allotments containing 


allotments remain open. 






saline soils. 





S2-2 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Soil Resource Manacerr 


ent 






From Wild Horse and 
Burro 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


From Rights-of-Way 


Loss of 31,414 tons/year 


Loss of 4,463 tons/year 


Loss of 4,463 tons/year 


Management 


of critical condition and 


of critical condition 


of critical condition and 




highly susceptible soils; 


and highly susceptible 


highly susceptible soils; 




Loss of 28,594 tons/year 


soils; Loss of 6,541 


Loss of 6,591 tons/year 




of saline soils within the 


tons/year of saline soils 


of saline soils within 




Colorado River drainage. 


within the Colorado 


the Colorado River 






River drainage. 


drainage. 


From Recreation 


Loss of 128,357 tons per 


Loss of 55,347 tons per 


Loss of 81,027 tons per 


Management 


year of critical condition 


year of critical 


year of critical 




and highly susceptible 


condition and highly 


condition and highly 




soils; Loss of 89,353 tons 


susceptible soils; Loss 


susceptible soils; Loss 




per year of saline soils 


of 33,348 tons per year 


of 28,061 tons per year 




within the Colorado River 


of saline soils within 


of saline soils within 




drainage. 


the Colorado River 


the Colorado River 






drainage. 


drainage. 


From Minerals 


Loss of 47,118 tons per 


Loss of critical 


Loss of critical 


Management 


year of critical condition 


condition and highly 


condition and highly 




and highly susceptible 


susceptible soils; 11,936 


susceptible soils; 12,192 




soils; Loss of 28,171 tons 


tons per year from 


tons per year from 




per year of saline soils 


leasable mineral entry; 


leasable mineral entry; 




within the Colorado River 


10,533 tons from 


10,520 tons from 




drainage. 


mineral sales; 13,082 


mineral sales; 11,880 






tons from non-energy 


tons from non-energy 






leasables; annual loss of 


leasables; annual loss of 






saline soils in Colorado 


saline soils in Colorado 






River drainage: 7,975 


River drainage: 6,392 






tons from leasable 


tons from leasable 






mineral entry; 6,152 


mineral entry; 5,936 






tons from mineral sales 


tons from mineral sales 






and 7,975 tons from 


and 5,296 tons from 






non-energy leasables. 


non-energy leasables. 



S2-3 



■■■;■; i-TfflTMiltWffl' 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




_, 
Not addressed 


1 

Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Horse and burro use at 
the appropriate 
management level 
would result in a 
reduction of 113 tons of 
soil loss per year (2,260 
tons over 20 years) 


Loss of 4,463 tons/year 
of critical condition and 
highly susceptible soils; 
Loss of 5,135 tons/year 
of saline soils within the 
Colorado River drainage. 


Loss of 4,463 tons/year 
of critical condition and 
highly susceptible soils; 
Loss of 5,582 tons/year 
of saline soils within the 
Colorado River drainage. 


Not addressed 


Due to error in 
calculations used in the 
Draft Plan the impact is 
not addressed because it 
is not significant 


Loss of 79,495 tons per 
year of critical condition 
and highly susceptible 
soils; Loss of 26,446 
tons per year of saline 
soils within the Colorado 
River drainage. 


Same as C 


Not addressed 


Soil losses resulting 
from continued off-road 
vehicle use in 
previously disturbed 
areas is approximately 
2,650 tons per year. 


Loss of critical condition 
and highly susceptible 
soils; 10,755 tons per 
year from leasable 
mineral entry; 18,807 
tons from mineral sales; 
9,876 tons from non- 
energy leasables; annual 
loss of saline soils in 
Colorado River drainage: 
4,231 tons from leasable 
mineral entry; 4,556 tons 
from mineral sales and 
4,175 tons from non- 
energy leasables. 


Loss of critical condition 
and highly susceptible 
soils; 14,608 tons per 
year from leasable 
mineral entry; 14,206 
tons from mineral sales; 
13,669 tons from non- 
energy leasables; annual 
loss of saline soils in 
Colorado River drainage: 
7,964 tons from leasable 
mineral entry; 8,996 tons 
from mineral sales and 
7,964 tons from non- 
energy leasables. 


Not addressed 


From areas disturbed by 
mineral activities an 
estimated soil loss of 
1,164 tons per year or a 
total of 23,280 tons over 
the life of the Plan 
would be expected. 



S2-4 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Water Resource Management 


From Riparian 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


From Livestock 
Grazing Management 


48,799 tons per year 
delivered to stream 
channels from critical 
condition and highly 
susceptible soils; 8,556 
tons per year of saline 
sediments within Colorado 
River drainage. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Wild Horse and 
Burro 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


From Lands 
Management 


Annual increase of 1,512 
to 3,974 acre-feet of water 
used per year within the 
Las Vegas Valley due to 
land disposal. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Right-of-Way 
Management 


2,356 tons per year 
delivered to stream 
channels from critical 
condition and highly 
susceptible soils; 2,145 
tons per year of saline 
sediments within Colorado 
River drainage. 


355 tons per year 
delivered to stream 
channels from critical 
condition and highly 
susceptible soils; 491 
tons per year of saline 
sediments within 
Colorado River 
drainage. 


355 tons per year 
delivered to stream 
channels from critical 
condition and highly 
susceptible soils; 494 
tons per year of saline 
sediments within 
Colorado River 
drainage. 



S2-5 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Improved riparian areas 


Improving riparian areas 






would aid in soil 


to proper functioning 






stabilization, decreased 


condition would result 






water temperatures, 


in improved water 






moderate peak flows and 


quality. Protection of 






stabilize base flows. 


springs in open 
allotments and herd 
management areas 
would improve water 
quality. 


16,849 tons per year 


42,288 tons per year 


Long-term benefit could 


Water quality 


delivered to stream 


delivered to stream 


occur through the 


improvements on 117 


channels from critical 


channels from critical 


protection of 


spring sources would 


condition and highly 


condition and highly 


approximately 2,925 


occur as a result of 


susceptible soils; 143 


susceptible soils; 7,051 


acres along Meadow 


reduced grazing activity. 


tons per year of saline 


tons per year of saline 


Valley Wash and Virgin 




sediments within 


sediments within 


River. 




Colorado River drainage. 


Colorado River drainage. 






Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Water quality 
improvement would 
occur on 34 spring 
sources as a result of 
removal of horses from 
3 of 6 herd management 
areas 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Additional lands to be 


Additional lands 






disposed of will increase 


available for disposal 






the demand on available 


will result in an 






ground water. 


increased demand for 
ground water (an 
additional 3,193 acre 
feet per year). 


355 tons per year 


355 tons per year 


Not addressed 


Minimal impact would 


delivered to stream 


delivered to stream 




result through 


channels from critical 


channels from critical 




implementation of 


condition and highly 


condition and highly 




mitigation measures 


susceptible soils; 385 


susceptible soils; 41 9 




such as reclamation and 


tons per year of saline 


tons per year of saline 




the avoidance of waters 


sediments within 


sediments within 






Colorado River drainage. 


Colorado River drainage. 







S2-6 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Water Resource Management 


From Recreation 


9,627 tons per year 


4,151 tons per year 


6,077 tons per year 


Management 


delivered to stream 


delivered to stream 


delivered to stream 




channels from critical 


channels from critical 


channels from critical 




condition and highly 


condition and highly 


condition and highly 




susceptible soils; 6,701 


susceptible soils; 2,501 


susceptible soils; 2,105 




tons per year of saline 


tons per year of saline 


tons per year of saline 




sediments within Colorado 


sediments within 


sediments within 




River drainage. 


Colorado River 


Colorado River 






drainage. 


drainage. 


From Minerals 


3,534 tons per year 


Tons per year delivered 


Tons per year delivered 


Management 


delivered to stream 


to stream channels from 


to stream channels from 




channels from critical 


critical condition and 


critical condition and 




condition and highly 


highly susceptible soils; 


highly susceptible soils; 




susceptible soils; 2,113 


895 from leasable 


914 from leasable 




tons per year of saline 


mineral entry, 790 from 


mineral entry, 789 from 




sediments within Colorado 


mineral sales, 981 from 


mineral sales, 891 from 




River drainage, 


non-energy leasables. 


non-energy leasables. 






Tons per year of saline 


Tons per year of saline 






sediments within 


sediments within 






Colorado River 


Colorado River 






drainage: 776 from 


drainage: 479 from 






leasable mineral entry, 


leasable mineral entry, 






1 ,064 from mineral 


445 from mineral sales, 






sales, 837 from non- 


397 from non-energy 






energy leasables. 


leasables. 


Riparian Resource Mana 


gement 






From Riparian 


Long-term enhancement 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


through maintenance, 
restoration or 
improvement of riparian 
values to healthy, 
productive ecological 
condition 







S2-7 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



5,962 tons per year 
delivered to stream 
channels from critical 
condition and highly 
susceptible soils; 1 ,983 
tons per year of saline 
sediments within 
Colorado River drainage. 



Same as C 



Not addressed 



The restriction of off- 
road vehicle activity to 
areas previously 
disturbed will benefit 
water resources through 
the preservation of 
presently undisturbed 
areas. 



Tons per year delivered 
to stream channels from 
critical condition and 
highly susceptible soils; 
807 from leasable 
mineral entry, 1,411 
from mineral sales, 741 
from non-energy 
leasables. Tons per year 
of saline sediments 
within Colorado River 
drainage: 317 from 
leasable mineral entry, 
342 from mineral sales, 
313 from non-energy 
leasables. 



Tons per year delivered 
to stream channels from 
critical condition and 
highly susceptible soils; 
1 ,096 from leasable 
mineral entry, 1,065 
from mineral sales, 1,025 
from non-energy 
leasables. Tons per year 
of saline sediments 
within Colorado River 
drainage: 579 from 
leasable mineral entry, 
675 from mineral sales, 
479 from non-energy 
leasables. 



Not addressed 



Potential sedimentation 
could occur to the 90 
springs and approx. 12 
miles of stream located 
in areas open to mineral 
activity. 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Measures would be 
taken to ensure all 
spring associated 
riparian areas and 
riparian areas associated 
with perennial streams 
would be in proper 
functioning condition 



S2-8 



MmuHKBUKHiauHnm^sm^^VHBeg^ v . 



nwivim i nrniirmniiii ii iiii iiiiii i i i ii i ii m wiiiummuhii 



r 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 



No Action 



Alternative A 



Alternative B 



Riparian Resource Management 



From Area of Critical 
Environmental 
Concern Management 



From Fish, Wildlife 
and Special Status 
Species Management 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



From Livestock 
Grazing Management 



From Wild Horse and 
Burro Management 



Concentration of grazing 
in riparian areas on 10 
active allotments would 
degrade those areas on 80 
springs (approx. 40 acres 
of riparian) and the Virgin 
River (approx. 190 acres 
of riparian) 



From Right-of-Way 
Management 



Concentration of wild 
horses and burros in 
riparian areas on 5 herd 
management areas would 
degrade those areas on 58 
springs (approx. 29 acres 
of riparian). 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Concentration of 
grazing in riparian areas 
on 10 active allotments 
would degrade those 
areas on 80 springs 
(approx. 40 acres of 
riparian); No impact on 
the Virgin River 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Not addressed 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



S2-9 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Concentration of grazing 
in riparian areas on 2 
active allotments would 
degrade those areas on 
38 springs (about 19 
acres of riparian); No 
impact on the Virgin 
River 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Closure to grazing plus 
fencing riparian areas 
where grazing remains 
will mitigate impacts to 
riparian areas. 



Designation of 
1,016,709 acres as 
Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern 
will help mitigate 
impacts to riparian areas 
on 106 springs and 1.7 
miles of stream due to 
restriction of impacting 
activities. 



Designation of 743,209 
acres as Areas of 
Critical Environmental 
Concern for desert 
tortoise reduce impacts 
to riparian habitat at 82 
springs and 1.7 miles of 
stream due to restriction 
of impacting activities. 



Same as E 



Removal of horses and 
burros in some herd 
management areas plus 
managing for the 
appropriate management 
level in the remaining 
herd management areas 
will help mitigate 
impacts to riparian 
areas. 



Not addressed 



Removal of horses and 
burros in some herd 
management areas plus 
managing for the 
appropriate management 
level in the remaining 
areas to ensure proper 
functioning condition 
will mitigate impacts to 
riparian areas. 



Potential impacts to 
riparian areas would be 
minimized through 
avoidance and site 
specific mitigation. 



S2-10 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 



No Action 



Alternative A 



Alternative B 



Riparian Resource Management 



From Recreation 
Management 



From Minerals 
Management 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Vegetation Management 



From Vegetation 
Management 



From Livestock 
Grazing Management 



From Wild Horse and 
Burro Management 



Long-term improvement 
of vegetative community 
due to management for 
desired plant community 
or potential natural 
community 



Moderate to slight impacts 
from livestock grazing, by 
cropping of forage plants 
during the year. 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Same as No Action 



Reduced impacts from 
livestock grazing based 
on closure of 14 
allotments to livestock 
grazing 



Utilization of forage 
plants would be 
eliminated with removal 
of wild horses and 
burros from Amargosa 
Herd Management 
Area; Impacts would 
continue in other areas. 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



S2-11 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Limiting off-road 
vehicle activity to 
existing roads and trails 
would improve the 
riparian resource 
through the prevention 
of new soil disturbance 
and sediment 
production. 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Closure to mineral 
activity, except fluid, 
within 1/4 mile of 
riparian areas would 
help mitigate impacts to 
riparian habitat. 




Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Decreased grazing 
impacts in designated 
Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern 
where livestock grazing 
is removed 


Reduced impacts from 
livestock grazing based 
on closure of 24 grazing 
allotments 


Closure of 43 grazing 
allotments would 
increase above ground 
biomass with plant vigor 
and reproductive 
capability maintained or 
enhanced. 


Closure of 42 grazing 
allotments would 
increase above ground 
biomass with plant vigor 
and reproductive 
capability maintained or 
enhanced. 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Substantial decrease to 
elimination of use levels 
based upon setting 
appropriate management 
levels and managing 
herds and habitat would 
minimize or eliminate 
damage to vegetative 
resources. 


Same as E 



S2-12 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Visual Resource Manapp.mp.nt 


From Visual 

Resource 

Management 


Reduced impacts of 
projects 


Reduced impacts by 
designation of visual 
resource management 
classes in planning area 


Same as A 


From Lands 
Management 


Loss of natural landscape 
in Las Vegas Valley, 
Mesquite, Laughlin & 
Pahrump due to urban 
development 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Rights-of-Way 
Management 


No corridors designated 


Designation of corridors 
would help protect 
veiwsheds by 
concentrating impacts 
within specific 
geographic areas; 
Corridors would have 
moderate visual 
impacts. 




From Minerals 
Management 


Impacts to form, line, 
color, and texture from 
mining; In some cases, 
would cause long-term 
scars to landscape 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Fish, Wildlife and Sneci, 


il Status Suedes Management 






From Riparian 
Management 


Enhanced habitat for 
wildlife and special status 
species 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Vegetation 
Management 


Enhanced habitat as result 
of management to achieve 
full ecological potential or 
potential natural 
community 


Enhanced habitat from 
management for 
potential natural 
community; 
management of 
mesquite stands 


Same as A 


From Areas of Critical 
Environmental 
Concern 


No areas of critical 
environmental concern 
would be designated 


Habitats for wildlife 
would be protected by 
the designation of 
1,151,938 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 


Habitats for wildlife 
would be protected by 
the designation of 
1,530,838 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 



S2-13 



...-..■■-- 



vmsaaam^umwmaa^m 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Alternative E 



Proposed 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Not addressed 



Same as No Action 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Habitats for wildlife 
would be protected by 
the designation of 
1,538,298 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Same as A 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Habitats for wildlife 
would be protected by 
the designation of 
969,591 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 



Same as No Action 



Same as A 



Habitats for wildlife 
would be protected by 
the designation of 
1,005,031 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 



S2-14 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish. Wildlife and Special Status Species Management 


From Fish, Wildlife 


Habitat would be managed 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


and Special Status 


to sustain or increase 






Species Management 


existing wildlife 
populations 






From Livestock 


Wildlife habitat would 


Wildlife habitat would 


Same as A 


Grazing Management 


improve as 2,795,792 


improve as 2,595,247 






acres open to grazing 


acres open to grazing 






would be managed under 


would be managed 






Section 7 prescriptions 


under Section 7 






and 875,335 acres would 


prescriptions and 






be closed to grazing. 


1,075,880 acres would 
be closed to grazing 




From Wild Horse and 


Managing wild horses and 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Burro Management 


burros to maintain thriving 
ecological balance would 
improve habitat for some 
wildlife. 






From Lands 


Disposal of Category I 


970,160 acres of 


1,346,200 acres of 


Management 


and II tortoise habitat 


tortoise habitat within 


tortoise habitat within 




would fragment tortoise 


Areas of Critical 


Areas of Critical 




populations and reduce 


Environmental Concern 


Environmental Concern 




available habitat 


would not be available 


would not be available 






for disposal and would 


for disposal and would 






be protected for the 


be protected for the 






long-term 


long 


From Rights-of-Way 


Both direct and indirect 


Impacts to wildlife 


Impacts to wildlife 


Management 


impacts to wildlife from 


from construction & 


from construction & 




rights-of-way construction 


maintenance; Habitat 


maintenance; Only 




& maintenance 


would be protected as 


Category I tortoise 






Areas of Critical 


habitat would be closed 






Environmental Concern 


to material sites rights- 






would be closed to 


of-way resulting in 






material site rights-of- 


continuing impacts to 






way and be right-of- 


wildlife in other areas 






way avoidance areas, 








outside of corridors 






Not addressed 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife from 






designation of 590 


590 miles of corridors. 






miles of corridors. 





S2-15 






■ 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Wildlife habitat would 


Wildlife habitat would 


Habitat for wildlife 


Wildlife habitat would 


improve as 1,001,767 


improve as 2,341,875 


would improve as 


improve as 2,721,002 


acres open to livestock 


acres open to livestock 


2,757,360 acres would 


acres would be closed to 


grazing would be 


grazing would be 


be closed to livestock 


livestock grazing. 11 


managed under Section 


managed under Section 7 


grazing; Open allotments 


allotments open to 


7 prescriptions and 


prescriptions and 


would be managed 


grazing would be 


2,669,360 acres would 


1,329,252 acres would 


under Section 7 


managed under Section 


be closed to grazing. 


be closed to grazing. 


prescriptions 


7 prescriptions 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Managing for zero 


Managing for zero 






animals in 4 herd 


animals in 3 herd 






management areas and 


management areas and 






for appropriate 


managing for 






management level in 


appropriate management 






other areas would 


level in other areas 






improve habitat for 


would improve habitat 






wildlife 


for wildlife 


1,356,680 acres of 


Same as A 


797,938 acres of tortoise 


743,209 acres of tortoise 


tortoise habitat within 




habitat within Areas of 


habitat within Areas of 


Areas of Critical 




Critical Environmental 


Critical Environmental 


Environmental Concern 




Concern would not be 


Concern would not be 


would not be available 




available for disposal 


available for disposal 


for disposal and would 




and would be protected 


and would be protected 


be protected for the long 




for the long term 


for the long term 


term 








Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Impacts to wildlife 
from construction & 
maintenance; Areas of 
Critical Environmental 
Concern would be right- 
of-way avoidance areas, 
outside of corridors and 








would be closed to 
material site rights-of- 
way, except within 1/2 
mile of highways. 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Same as E 


476 miles of corridors. 


563 miles of corridors. 


539 miles of corridors. 





S2-16 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish. Wildlife and Special Status Species Management 






From Recreation 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Same as A 


Management 


off-highway vehicle 


off-highway vehicle use 






designations: 2,900,998 


would decrease: 9,180 






acres OPEN; 766,789 


acres OPEN; 3,649,757 






acres LIMITED; 3,313 


acres LIMITED; 12,190 






acres CLOSED. 


acres CLOSED. 






Impacts to wildlife in 


Impacts to wildlife 


Same as A 




areas open to competitive 


would be reduced as 






off -highway vehicle 


acreage open to high- 






events; Most of the 


speed competitive 






planning area is open. 


events would decrease. 




From Wilderness 


Over the short-term 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


wildlife habitat in 
wilderness study areas 
would be protected by 
Interim Management 
Policy 








Congressional release of 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 




study areas would impact 








long-term management of 








wildlife habitat. 






From Minerals 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife from 


Impacts to wildlife 


Management 


mineral development on 


mineral development on 


from mineral 




4,412,940 acres open to 


3,968,864 acres open to 


development on 




fluid mineral leasing; 


fluid mineral leasing; 


3,828,982 acres open to 




4,208,846 acres open to 


3,703,833 acres open to 


fluid mineral leasing; 




locatables; 4,496,342 acres 


locatables; 3,943,316 


3,158,567 acres open to 




open to saleables; 


acres open to non- 


locatables; 2,561,798 




4,448,329 acres open to 


energy leasables; 


acres open to saleables; 




non-energy leasables 


2,959,709 acres open to 


3,522,205 acres open to 






saleables 


non-energy leasables 



S2-17 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E Proposed 




Impacts to wildlife from 
off- highway vehicles 
would decrease: 9,180 
acres OPEN; 3,648,757 
acres LIMITED; 13,190 
acres CLOSED. 


Same as A 


Impacts to wildlife from 
off- highway vehicles 
would decrease: 10,180 
acres OPEN; 3,542,820 
acres LIMITED; 4,360 
acres CLOSED. 


Impacts to wildlife from 
off- highway vehicles 
would decrease: 24,600 
acres OPEN; 3,303,735 
acres LIMITED; 3,560 
acres CLOSED. 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Impacts to wildlife 
would be reduced as 
acreage open to high 
speed, competitive 
events would decrease. 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Study areas released by 
Congress would be 
managed to maintain 
their existing aesthetic 
qualities 


Increased protection of 
wildlife from closure of 
2,033,369 acres to fluid 
mineral leasing; 
2,312,668 acres to 
locatables; 2,108,907 
acres to saleables, and 
2,004,689 acres to non- 
energy leasables 


Impacts to wildlife from 
4,468,344 acres open to 
fluid mineral leasing; 
4,008,868 acres to 
locatables; 4,035,390 
acres to mineral 
materials; 4,448,329 
acres to non-energy 
leasables 


Increased protection of 
wildlife from closure of 
552,024 acres to fluid 
mineral leasing, 
2,828,613 acres to 
locatables; 1,220,482 
acres to saleables, and 
3,183,450 acres to non- 
energy leasables 


Increased protection of 
wildlife from no surface 
occupancy stipulations 
on 866,067 acres open 
to fluid mineral leasing, 
withdrawal of 1,227,226 
acres to locatables; 
closure of 1,033,569 
acres to saleables, and 
1,443,799 acres to non- 
energy leasables 



S2-18 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 






I 



Program 


No Action, 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Fish. Wildlife and Special Status Species Management 




Not addressed 


Additional protection of 
wildlife habitat as 
tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern 
would be closed to 
mineral materials 
disposal and seasonal 
closures would be in 
effect for fluid mineral 
leasing 


Same as A 


Livestock Grazing Management 


From Riparian 
Management 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


From Fish, Wildlife 
and Special Status 
Species Management 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 




Decreased grazing from 
management actions and 
Section 7 consultation; 
season of use and 
utilization levels reduced 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Range 
Reclassification 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Wild Horse and Burro Management 


From Air, Soil and 
Water Resource 
Management 


Short-term possible 
reductions in horse and 
burro numbers from 
management actions; long- 
term improved condition 
of vegetation and water 
quality and quantity 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 



S2-19 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Impacts to wildlife 


Additional protection of 


Additional protection of 




tortoise areas of critical 


wildlife as all areas of 


wildlife as all 




environmental concern 


critical environmental 


areas of critical 




would remain open to 


concern would be 


environmental concern 




mineral material 


recommended for 


would be recommended 




disposal; Increased 


closure to saleables, 


for withdrawal from the 




protection from seasonal 


solid leasables and 


mining law and closed 




closure on fluid mineral 


material site rights-of- 


to saleables, solid 




leasing 


way 


leasables. 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Livestock would be 
relocated or removed if 
utilization levels are 
exceeded. 


Same as E 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Protection of special 
status species could 
require a change in 
grazing systems or 
removal of livestock. 


Same as E 


Substantial decrease in 


Same as No Action 


Substantial decrease in 


Same as E 


forage use from closure 




forage use from closure 




of desert tortoise habitat 




of tortoise areas of 




to livestock grazing 




critical environmental 
concern to livestock 
grazing. 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Permittees could realize 
an economic benefit by 
setting of preference 
since a animal unit 
month has an implied 


Not addressed 






value. 


— 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Wild burros would be 


Wild burros would be 






removed from Gold 


removed from Eldorado 






Butte & Eldorado Herd 


and part of Gold Butte 






Management Areas to 


Herd Management 






implement Tortoise 


Areas to implement 






Recovery Plan. 


Tortoise Recovery Plan. || 



S2-20 



mms 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 






Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Wild Horse and Burro Manaeement 


From Fish, 
Wildlife and 
Special Status 
Species 
Management 


Competition from 
wildlife expanding into 
herd management areas; 
potential for reduced 
herd numbers in 
tortoise habitat 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Rights-of- 
Way Management 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Cultural Resource Manaeement 


From Fish, 
Wildlife and 
Special Status 
Species 
Management 


Not addressed 


Designation of 1,017,838 
acres as areas of critical 
environmental concern aids 
in preserving 2,200 eligible 
sites 


Designation of 
1,404,358 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern aids in 
preserving 2,800 
eligible sites 


From Forestry 
Management 


Potential disturbance of 
700 eligible sites from 
cutting in Virgin, 
McCullough, Spring 
Mountains 


Potential disturbance of 
300 eligible sites from 
wood cutting in Pahrump 
Valley and Amargosa Flat 


Same as A 


From Livestock 

Grazing 

Management 


Potential disturbance of 
5,200 eligible sites, 
31,000 acres of 
Traditional Lifeway 
Area 


Potential disturbance of 
5,200 eligible sites, 31,000 
acres of Traditional 
Lifeway Area 


Same as A 


From Lands 
Management 


Potential disturbance of 
6,300 eligible sites from 
availability for disposal 
of 3,140,585 acres 


Potential disturbance of 
3,300 eligible sites from 
availability for disposal of 
1,603,885 acres 


Potential disturbance of 
2,500 eligible sites from 
availability for disposal 
of 1,224,985 acres 


From Rights-of- 
Way Management 


Potential disturbance of 
6,500 eligible sites, 
31,000 acres Traditional 
Lifeway Area from 
permits 


Potential disturbance of 
1 ,000 eligible sites from 
designated corridors on 
540,247 acres 


Same as A 



S2-21 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



1 

Alternative C Alternative D 


Alternative E j Proposed 








Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Wild burros would be 
removed from Gold 
Butte & Eldorado Herd 
Management Areas to 
implement Tortoise 
Recovery Plan. 


Wild burros would be 
removed from Eldorado 
and part of Gold Butte 
Herd Management 
Areas to implement 
Tortoise Recovery Plan. 




Not addressed 


Not addressed 


Fencing highways 
without installing under 
passes would hinder 
movement of animals as 
well as closing access to 
waters. 


Same as E 








Designation of 
1,409,478 acres as areas 
of critical environmental 
concern aids in 
preserving 2,800 eligible 
sites 


Same as A 


Designation of 969,591 
acres of areas of critical 
environmental concern 
aids in preserving 2,100 
eligible sites. 


Designation of 
1,005,031 acres of areas 
of critical environmental 
concern aids in 
preserving 2,100 
eligible sites. 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed- 


Potential disturbance of 
300 eligible sites from 
wood cutting in 
Pahrump Valley. 




Potential disturbance of 
2,000 eligible sites, 
31,000 acres of 
Traditional Lifeway 
Area 


Potential disturbance of 
4,600 eligible sites, 
31,000 acres of 
Traditional Lifeway Area 


Potential disturbance of 
1,700 eligible sites. 


Potential disturbance of 
1,255 eligible sites. 




Minimum of 2,000 
eligible sites protected 
by closure of planning 
area to leases and 
permits 


Potential disturbance of 
3,500 eligible site from 
availability to disposal of 
1,517,562 acres 


Not addressed 


Potential disturbance 
involving 2,100 eligible 
sites by the availability 
of 1,022,314 acres for 
disposal. 




Potential disturbance of 
1,000 eligible sites from 
designated corridors on 
505,012 acres 


Potential disturbance of 
1,000 eligible sites from 
designated corridors on 
531,148 acres 


Not addressed 


Potential disturbance of 
200 eligible sites from 
designated corridors on 
157,761 acres. 





:: ; 



S2-22 



9 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 


No Action 


| Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Cultural Resource Management 


From Recreation 


Potential disturbance of 


Potential disturbance of 20 


Same as A 


Management 


5,800 eligible sites from 


eligible sites from off-road 






off-road vehicle use on 


vehicle use on 9,180 acres 






2,900,298 acres 


designated as OPEN 






designated as OPEN 






From Wilderness 


Additional protection of 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


cultural resources from 
restrictions on new 
access and limitations 
on other surface- 
disturbing activities in 
wilderness study areas 






From Minerals 


Potential disturbance of 


Potential disturbance of 


Potential disturbance of 


Management 


7,500 eligible sites, 


7,500 eligible sites from 


7,300 eligible sites from 




31,000 acres Traditional 


locatables; to 6,000 eligible 


locatables; to 5,400 




Lifeway Areas 


sites from saleable 


eligible sites from 






minerals; 7,500 eligible 


saleable minerals; 7,300 






sites from solid leasables; 


eligible sites from solid 






and 1,500 eligible sites 


leasables; and 3,800 






from fluid mineral uses 


eligible sites from fluid 
mineral uses 


Lands Management 




From Lands 


Long-term 


Long-term encumbrances 


Long-term 


Management 


encumbrances could 


could occur on lands 


encumbrances could 




occur on lands 


identified for disposal but 


occur on lands 




identified for disposal 


also a part of the 


identified for disposal 




but also a part of the 


1,636,059 acres available 


but also a part of the 




3,140,759 acres 


for leases and permits; 


1,257,159 acres 




available for Section 


encumbrances lessened by 


available for leases, 




302 leases, permits, and 


limiting airport leasing to 


permits, and airport 




airport leases; multiple 


specific areas; multiple use 


leasing; multiple use 




use goals would be met 


goals would be met 


goals would be met 



S2-23 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Potential disturbance of 
eligible sites from off- 
road vehicle use on 
24,600 acres designated 
as OPEN 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Same as No Action 


Potential disturbance of 
5,000 eligible sites from 
locatables; 5,400 eligible 
sites from saleable 
minerals; 5,700 eligible 
sites from solid 
leasables; and 1,500 
eligible sites from fluid 
mineral uses 


Potential disturbance of 
7,700 eligible sites from 
locatables; 7,700 eligible 
sites from saleables; 
9,000 eligible sites from 
solid leasables; and 
1,000 eligible sites from 
fluid mineral uses 


Potential disturbance of 
7,500 eligible sites from 
mineral exploration and 
development. 


Same as C 




Closing the planning 
area to leases and 
permits would prevent 
long-term encumbrances 
on lands valuable for 
disposal; some long-term 
encumbrances could 
occur from airport 
leasing limited to 
specific areas; multiple 
use management goals 
would still be met 


Long-term 
encumbrances could 
occur on lands identified 
for disposal but also a 
part of the 1,657,514 
acres available for 
leases, permits and 
airport leasing; multiple 
use goals would be met 


Not addressed 


Land would be available 
to enhance community 
growth and expansion. 



S2-24 



IIIIIIIIIIMIMIIMIIIIIIIWHB 



— '— | |||||| | M || Wr — --■■■ ^■MUMMmillMH^^ 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 






Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 




From Rights-of- 


Public lands would be 


Designation of 540,247 


Designation of 540,247 




Way Management 


encumbered, 


acres of utility corridors 


acres of utility corridors 






establishing valid 


could lessen encumbrances 


could lessen 






existing rights 


on lands identified for 
disposal; potential loss of 
37,372 acres identified for 
disposal throughout the 
planning area 


encumbrances on lands 
identified for disposal; 
potential loss of 77,124 
acres identified for 
disposal throughout the 
planning area 




Lands Management 






From Minerals 


Impacts to lands 


Withdrawal of 65,998 


Withdrawal of 111,524 




Management 


disposal program could 


acres from all mineral 


acres from all mineral 






occur from "nuisance" 


entry and development 


entry and development 






claims, mineral entry, 


within the Las Vegas and 


within the Las Vegas 






and development for 


Laughlin areas would limit 


and Laughlin areas 






locatable, leasable, and 


long term or permanent 


would limit long-term 






saleable minerals on 


encumbrances which could 


or permanent 






163,673 acres 


preclude disposal or lower 
appraisal values 


encumbrances which 
could preclude disposal 
or lower appraisal 
values 




Rights-of-Wav Management 




From Rights-of- 


Long-term impacts 


Right-of-way corridors 


Same as A 




Way 


could occur due to 
continued proliferation 
of randomly placed 
utility line and material 
site rights-of-way 
(mainly in Clark 
County) 


could reduce social, 
economic, and 
environmental impacts by 
confining similar uses to a 
specific area. 








Not addressed 


Right-of-way exclusion 
areas could constitute a 
loss of 31% ofpublicland 
available for material site 
development; Right-of-way 
avoidance areas could 
constitute a loss of 53% of 
public land available for 
all types of rights-of-way 


Exclusion areas could 
constitute a loss of 9% 
of public lands available 
for material site 
development; 
Avoidance areas could 
constitute a loss of 
63% of public lands 
available for all types of 
rights-of-way 





S2-25 



wnffiK ' 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 



Alternative D 



Designation of 505,012 
acres of utility corridors 
could lessen 
encumbrances on lands 
identified for disposal; 
potential loss of 19,375 
acres identified for 
disposal throughout the 
planning area 



Designation of 531,148 
acres of utility corridors 
could lessen 
encumbrances on lands 
identified for disposal; 
potential loss of 179,953 
acres identified for 
disposal throughout the 
planning area 



Alternative E 



Withdrawal of 61,278 
acres from all mineral 
entry and development 
within the Las Vegas 
and Laughlin areas 
would limit long-term or 
permanent encumbrances 
which could preclude 
disposal or lower 
appraisal values 



Withdrawal of 57,163 
acres from locatable 
entry in the Las Vegas, 
Searchlight, Jean, 
Goodsprings and 
Laughlin areas would 
limit long-term or 
permanent encumbrances 
which could preclude 
disposal or lower 
appraisal values 



Same as A 



Exclusion areas could 
constitute a loss of 42% 
of public lands available 
for material site 
development; Avoidance 
areas could constitute a 
loss of 63% of public 
land available for all 
types of rights-of-way. 



Same as A 



Exclusion areas could 
constitute a loss of 34% 
of public lands available 
for linear and areal 
rights-of-way (including 
material sites); 
Avoidance areas could 
constitute a loss of 53% 
of public lands available 
for all types of rights-of- 
way. 



Not addressed 



Not addressed 



Proposed 



Designation of 158,806 
acres of utility corridors 
could lessen 
encumbrances incurred 
on Public lands by 
randomly placed lines. 



I 



Mineral entry and 
development encumbers 
land and lessens 
appraisal values. 



Scenic values and 
integrity of the 
surrounding area would 
be better protected by 
designation of corridors. 



Not addressed 



Same as E 



Exclusion areas could 
constitute a loss of 28% 
of public lands available 
for linear and areal 
rights-of-way (including 
material sites); 
Avoidance areas could 
constitute a loss of 29% 
of public lands available 
for all types of rights- 
of-way. 



S2-26 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 




Delays in processing 


Management would be 


Same as A 




applications could occur 


facilitated by limiting 






due to continued 


future comm site rights-of- 






authorization of 


way to established sites, 






communication (comm) 


until approval of a site 






site rights-of-way on 


management plan for each 






crowded, multi-user 


specific site 






sites operating without 








a site management plan 






Acquisitions 




From Acquisitions 


Not addressed 


Short-term administrative 


Short-term 






impacts could occur from 


administrative impacts 






acquisition of 12,679 acres 


could occur from 






of private lands 


acquisition of 9,049 








acres of private lands 


Recreation Management 




From Water 


Not addressed 


Minor impacts to avoid 


Same as A 


Resource 




water sources, including 




Management 




rerouting of off-highway 
vehicle events; increased 
water source developments 
could increase visitor use 
by 10% 




From Areas of 


Not addressed 


Off-highway vehicle 


Off-highway vehicle 


Critical 




competitive events would 


competitive events 


Environmental 




be eliminated on 1,145,978 


would be eliminated on 


Concern 




acres designated as areas 


1,530,838 acres of areas 


Management 




of critical environmental 


of critical environmental 






concern 


concern 


From Fish, 


Cancellation of 


Cancellation of competitive 


Cancellation of 


Wildlife and 


competitive events in 


events in tortoise habitat 


competitive events in 


Special Status 


tortoise habitat resulted 


resulted in impacts to 


tortoise habitat resulted 


Species 


in impacts to 


participants and spectators; 


in impacts to 


Management 


participants and 


Closure of 970,160 acres 


participants and 




spectators; Closure of 


would increase use in 


spectators; Closure of 




996,400 acres to 


Jean/Roach, Eldorado, 


1,346,200 acres would 




competitive off-highway 


Nelson Hills, and Nellis 


increase use in 




vehicle use would 


Dunes. 


Jean/Roach areas and 




increase use in 




Nelson Hills. 




Jean/Roach areas and 








Nelson Hills. 







S2-27 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Same as A 




Short-term 

administrative impacts 
could occur from 
acquisition of 14,669 
acres of private lands 


Same as B 


Not addressed 


Any private lands 
acquired within areas of 
critical environmental 
concern would enhance 
the integrity of those 
areas 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Minor impacts to avoid 
water sources, including 
rerouting of off-highway 
vehicle events. 


Off-highway vehicle 
competitive events 
would be eliminated on 
1,538,298 acres of areas 
of critical environmental 
concern 


Same as A 


Off-highway vehicle 
competitive events would 
be eliminated on 969,591 
acres areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Off-highway vehicle 
speed events eliminated 
from 1,005,031 acres of 
critical environmental 
concern; Minimal 
impact as limits are 
already in effect. 


Cancellation of 
competitive events in 
tortoise habitat resulted 
in impacts to 
participants and 
spectators; Closure of 
1,356,680 acres would 
increase use in 
Jean/Roach area and 
Nelson Hills. 


Same as A 


Cancellation of 
competitive events in 
tortoise habitat resulted 
in impacts to participants 
and spectators; Closure 
of 798,000 acres would 
increase use in 
Jean/Roach area, 
Pahrump Valley, 
Laughlin and Nellis 
Dunes. 


Minimal impact. Users 
and use patterns have 
already adjusted to 
desert tortoise protection 
measures and limits. 



S2-28 



■inuMiimii.iiiii.il— aamma 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Recreation Management 


From Fish, Wildlife 


Approx. a 10% 


Approx. a 6 % reduction 


Approx. a 10%reduction 


and Special Status 


reduction in visitor use 


in visitor use would be 


in visitor use would be 


Species 


would be expected, 


expected, based upon 


expected, based upon 


Management 


based upon restrictions 


restrictions in tortoise 


restrictions in tortoise 




in tortoise habitat 


habitat 


habitat 




Big Dune would be 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 




open to casual off-road 








vehicle use, except for 








five acres which would 








be closed 






From Rights-of- 


Construction of new 


Additional road rights-of- 


Same as A 


Way Management 


projects could reduce 


way in Sunrise Mtn. could 






semi-primitive and non- 


increase visitor use by 






motorized 


10% but could reduce 






opportunities; increased 


aesthetic value; Right-of- 






hunting and camping 


way construction could 






opportunities 


detract from semi- 
primitive and non- 
motorized opportunities 




From Recreation 


Visitor use would 


Visitor use would increase 


Same as A 


Management 


increase by 10% or 


by 20% or 289,620 visitor 






144,810 visitor days 


days; Special Recreation 
Management Areas would 
be designated. 




From Minerals 


Geophysical exploration 


Management actions to 


Same as A 


Management 


and road construction 


protect cave and karst 






could reduce water 


resources would lessen 






percolation into caves 


impacts from minerals 
activities 






Loss of 20% of semi- 


Management actions to 


Same as A; Big Dune 




primitive non- 


protect areas of critical 


Special Recreation 




motorized opportunities 


environmental concern, 


Management Area 




from mineral 


caves, and semi-primitive 


would be protected 




exploration and 


areas would lessen 


from minerals 




development. 


impacts from minerals 


exploration and 






activities. 


development. 



S2-29 



"' "iSBiSfiOBBS 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D | Alternative E 


Proposed 








Same as B 


Same as B 


Approx. a 15% 
reduction in visitor use 
would be expected, 
based upon restrictions 
in tortoise habitat 


Minimal impact. Users 
and use patterns have 
already adjusted to 
desert tortoise protection 
measures and limits. 




With Big Dune closed, 
displaced recreationists 
would need to travel 
greater distances for 
similar opportunities 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Off-highway vehicle 
enthusiasts would be 
displaced from about 
10% of Big Dunes 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Increased access could 
increase opportunities 
for hunting, camping 
and off-highway vehicle 
touring, racing and free- 
play 


Same as A 




Same as No Action; Big 
Dune and Desert View 
would not be designated 
as Special Recreation 
Management Areas. 


Same as A 


Same as No Action 


Visitor use would 
increase by 20% or 
289,620 visitor days due 
to increased population 
growth. 




Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Same as A 




Same as B 


Protection of caves from 
locatable mineral entry; 
loss of 20% of semi- 
primitive non-motorized 
recreation opportunities 
from mineral activities 
over 10 year period. 


Not addressed 


Same as A 





S2-30 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program | No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Minerals Management 




From Riparian 


Not addressed 


Approx. 2,330 acres would 


Approx. 5,350 acres 


Management 




be withdrawn from mining 


would be withdrawn 






claim location, solid 


from mining claim 






mineral leasing, and 


location, solid mineral 






mineral material disposal; 


leasing, and mineral 






fluid mineral leasing 


material disposal; fluid 






would be allowed subject 


mineral leasing would 






to major restrictions 


be allowed subject to 
major restrictions 


From Areas of 


No impacts 


Areas of critical 


1,465,138 acres of areas 


Critical 




environmental concern 


of critical environmental 


Environmental 




would be designated, 


concern would be 


Concern 




withdrawing 931,398 acres 


withdrawn from mineral 


Management 




from mineral material 


material disposal; 






disposal; 172,218 acres 


175,938 acres from 






from mining claim 


mining claim location; 






location, solid mineral 


544,938 acres from 






leasing, and fluid mineral 


solid mineral leasing; 






leasing; 9,600 acres would 


10,000 acres would be 






be open to fluid mineral 


open to fluid mineral 






leasing, subject to major 


leasing, subject to major 






restrictions; 760,277 acres 


restrictions; 956,580 






would be open to fluid 


acres would be open to 






mineral leasing, subject to 


fluid mineral leasing, 






minor restrictions 


subject to minor 
restrictions 


From Fish, Wildlife 




Approx. 634 acres would 


Same as A 




and Special Status 




be withdrawn from mining 




Species 




claim location, mineral 




Management 




leasing, and mineral 
material disposal 




From Cultural 




Approx. 31,000 acres 


Same as A 




Resource 




would be withdrawn from 




Management 




mining claim location, 
mineral leasing and 
mineral material disposal 





S2-31 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Same as B 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Approx. 9,000 acres 
would be withdrawn 
from mining claim 
location, solid mineral 
leasing, and mineral 
material disposal; fluid 
mineral leasing would 
be allowed subject to no 
surface occupancy 


1,538,298 acres of areas 
of critical environmental 
concern would be 
withdrawn from mineral 
material disposal and 
solid mineral leasing; 
1,474,658 acres from 
mining claim location; 
1,483,258 acres from 
fluid mineral leasing; 
1 ,000 acres would be 
open to fluid mineral 
leasing subject to major 
restrictions; 54,040 acres 
would be open to fluid 
mineral leasing subject 
to minor restrictions 


Areas of critical 
environmental concern 
would be designated, 
withdrawing 139,658 
acres from mineral 
material disposal and 
mining claim location 


Not addressed 


Areas of critical 
environmental concern 
would be designated, 
withdrawing 1,005,031 
acres from mining claim 
location, mineral 
material disposal and 
mineral leasing. Fluid 
mineral leasing would 
be subject to no surface 
occupancy and timing 
and use constraints. 


Approx. 1 1 ,600 acres 
would be withdrawn 
from mining claim 
location, mineral leasing, 
and mineral material 
disposal 


Same as A 


Increased costs of 
operation and 
reclamation of disturbed 
areas in areas of critical 
environmental concern 


Same as E; Approx. 
25% of the planning 
area would be 
withdrawn from mining 
claim, mineral leasing, 
and mineral material 
disposal. 


Same as A 


Approx. 12,570 acres 
would be withdrawn 
from mining claim 
location, mineral leasing 
and mineral material 
disposal 


Approx. 12,400 acres 
would be withdrawn 
from mining claim 
location, mineral leasing 
and mineral material 
disposal 


Approx. 12,185 acres 
would be withdrawn 
from mining claim 
location, mineral leasing 
and mineral material 
disposal 



S2-32 



HHMUllMHn 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Minerals Management 


From Lands 
Management 


Disposal of 108,107 
acres of public lands in 
Las Vegas Valley, 
including saleable 
mineral, would 
decrease the availability 
of silt, sand and gravel 
to construction industry 


Disposal of 61,838 acres 
of public lands within Las 
Vegas Valley, including 
saleable minerals, would 
decrease the availability of 
silt, sand and gravel to 
construction industry 


Disposal of 99, 391 
acres of public lands 
within Las Vegas 
Valley, including 
saleable minerals, would 
decrease the availability 
of silt, sand and gravel 
to construction industry 


From Lands 
Management 


Existing classifications, 
withdrawals, and 
segregation affect 
530,582 acres, limiting 
the availability of 
public lands for mining 
claim location, mineral 
leasing, and mineral 
material disposal 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Rights-of- 
Way Management 


Existing material site 
rights-of-way would 
exclude 15,842 acres, 
from mining claim 
location 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


From Recreation 
Management 


Approx. 3,308 acres 
would be designated as 
closed to all motorized 
vehicle use, restricting 
access for mineral- 
related activities 


Approx. 12,190 acres 
would be designated as 
closed to all motorized 
vehicle use, restricting 
access for mineral-related 
activities 


Same as A 






Cave management actions 
would limit the availability 
of 3,200 acres of public 
lands to mining claim 
location, mineral 
materials disposal, solid 
mineral leasing and fluid 
mineral leasing. 


Same as A 





S2-33 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 




Disposal of 59,998 acres 
of public lands within 
Las Vegas Valley, 
including saleable 
minerals, would decrease 
the availability of silt, 
sand and gravel to 
construction industry 


Same as B 


Disposal of 69,771 acres 
of public lands within 
Las Vegas Valley, 
including saleable 
minerals, would decrease 
the availability of silt, 
sand and gravel to 
construction industry 


Disposal of 175,314 
acres of public lands, 
including saleable 
minerals, would 
decrease the availability 
of silt, sand and gravel 
to construction industry 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Existing classifications, 
withdrawals, and 
segregation affect 
434,055 acres, limiting 
the availability of public 
lands for mining claim 
location, mineral 
leasing, and mineral 
material disposal 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Same as No Action 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Approx, 3,560 acres 
would be designated as 
closed to all motorized 
vehicle use, restricting 
access for mineral- 
related activities. 


Same as A 


Cave management 
actions would potentially 
limit the availability of 
3,200 acres of public 
lands to mining claim 
location 


Not addressed 


Same as A 



>i 



S2-34 



■.■:/:■:::.■:: : :■■ >-■..,....■.■■:■■■ v :■ ■■-•■:-■ 



".-■■■■. j;; 1 ^:.: :;_;_:;. ■^::;i.~ :■:■, ■ ■■■ 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Minerals Management 


From Minerals 




Acreage available for fluid 






Acreage available for 


Management 




mineral leasing would 


fluid mineral leasing 






decrease by 1 1 %, solid 


would decrease by 14%, 






mineral leasing acreage by 


solid mineral leasing 






11%, mining claim 


acreage by 20%, mining 






location acreage by 12% 


claim location acreage 






and mineral material 


by 25%, and mineral 






disposal acreage by 34% 


material disposal 
acreage by 43% 


Fire Management 




From Air Resource 


Fire kept to a maximum 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


of 10 acres 90% of the 
time in the Non- 
Attainment Area 






From Soil Resource 


Critical erosion areas 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Management 


would require the use of 
hand tools 






From Riparian 


Limits on use of foams, 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Resource 


penetrants or retardants 






Management 


within 100 yards of 
riparian areas, could 
lead to larger fires in 
some instances 






From Wilderness 


Prescribed burning for 


Minor impacts to fire 


Same as A 


Management 


enhancement available 


program as prescribed 






on case-by-case basis, 


burning for enhancement 






under approved burn 


only allowed on 56,721 






plan 


acres in specified 
wilderness study areas; 
burning for fuels reduction 
only allowed on 61,793 
acres in specified 
wilderness study areas, 
subject to approved 
plan/environmental 
assessment 





S2-35 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Minerals Management 


Acreage available for 
fluid mineral leasing 
would decrease by 40%, 
solid mineral leasing 
acreage by 40%, mining 
claim location acreage 
by 44%, and mineral 
material disposal acreage 
by 43% 


Acreage available for 
mining claim location 
would decrease by 5% 
and mineral material 
disposal acreage by 11% 


Not addressed 


Acreage available for 
fluid mineral leasing 
would decrease by 45%, 
mining claim location 
acreage by 38% and 
mineral material disposal 
acreage by 39% 




Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Not addressed 


Same as No Action 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Not addressed 


Minor impacts to fire 
program as prescribed 
burning for enhancement 
allowed only on 56,721 
acres in specified 
wilderness study areas; 
burning for fuels 
reduction only allowed 
on 44,343 acres in 
specified wilderness 
study areas, subject to 
approved plan/ 
environmental 
assessment 






S2-36 





Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 




Program 


No Action 

> 


Alternative A 


Alternative B 


Socio-Economic Values 


From Livestock 


Withdrawal of 5,124 


Same as No Action 


Same as No Action 


Grazing 


animal unit months as a 






Management 


result of Section 7 
consultation; possible 
adverse economic 
impacts on 6 operators; 
lessor economic effects 
to 10 operators; net 
reduction of $128,000 in 
capital value of ranch 
assets; no significant 
impacts to overall 
economy of agricultural 
community. 






From Lands 


Total of 163,673 acres 


Total of 155,258 acres 


Total of 540,171 acres 


Management 


could be disposed of 


could be disposed of 


could be disposed of 




through sales, adding 


through sales, adding $1.1 


through sales, adding 




$1.2 billion assessed 


billion assessed values to 


$2.3 billion assessed 




values to counties and 


counties and $22.4 million 


values to counties and 




$23.6 million in tax 


in tax revenues 


$45.9 million in tax 




revenues 




revenues 


From Rights-of- 


Continued high costs 


Lower processing costs 


Same as A 


Way Management 


and lengthy processing 


and times; increased 






times for rights-of-way; 


construction costs as 






facilities not limited to 


facilities limited to 






designated corridors, 


designated corridors 






lowering construction 








and operating costs 






From Minerals 


Potentially significant 


Reduced mineral 


Same as A 


Management 


financial impacts to 


development potential; 






surface owners during 


impacts cannot be 






extended mineral 


estimated due to numerous 






extraction where BLM 


uncertainties 






administers minerals 







S2-37 



Table S-2 Summary of the Impacts 



Alternative C 


Alternative D 


Alternative E 


Proposed 


Withdrawal of 13,477 


Same as No Action 


Withdrawal of 7,427 


Withdrawal of 7,597 


animal unit months, net 




animal unit months, net 


animal unit months, net 


reduction of $393,757 in 




reduction of $36,000 in 


reduction of $36,238 in 


gross income from 




gross income from 


gross income from 


ranching activities; 




ranching activities; 


ranching activities; 


potential severe, long- 




potential severe, long- 


potential severe, long- 


term adverse economic 




term adverse economic 


term adverse economic 


effects on operators; no 




effects on operators; no 


effects on operators; no 


significant impact on 




significant impact on 


significant impact on 


regional economy 




regional economy 


regional economy 


Total of 98,943 acres 


Same as B 


Total of 111,000 acres 


Total of 175,314 acres 


could be disposed of 




could be disposed of 


could be disposed of 


through sales, adding 




through sales, adding 


through sales, adding 


$923.6 million assessed 




$950 million assessed 


1.3 billion assessed 


values to counties and 




values to counties and 


values to counties and 


$18.5 million in tax 




$19 million in tax 


24.5 million in tax 


revenues 




revenues. 


revenues. 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A; Values of 
private lands would be 
decreased near corridors. 


Same as E 


Same as A 


Same as A 


Same as A; wilderness 
study areas released 
from wilderness 
consideration could 
provide opportunities for 
mineral development. 


Same as E 



5 



S2-38 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 



General Information 

The Las Vegas District Proposed Resource 
Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact 
Statement, hereafter referred to as The Plan, will 
provide management guidance for approximately 
3.3 million acres of public land administered by the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (Maps 1-1 and 
1-2). The Plan is prepared subject to Sections 102 
and 202 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 that require the 
Secretary of the Interior to develop land use plans 
for all public lands and to the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 
mandating that Federal agencies prepare 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for major 
Federal actions. Since development of a Resource 
Management Plan is a large-scale Federal action, an 
Environmental Impact Statement was completed. 
The Plan conforms to the Council on Environmental 
Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing 
National Environmental Policy Act requirements 
(40 Code of Federal Regulations 1500-1508). 



Purpose and Need for Action 

The Plan identifies and analyzes alternatives for 
long-term management of public lands and 
resources administered by BLM in the planning 
area, which is defined as the Las Vegas District 
excluding Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 
Area, and the Nellis Range. (Note : A General 
Management Plan is being prepared to outline 
specific management strategy for the Conservation 
Area.) 

The Plan addresses seven management issues: 

• Land tenure 

• Desert tortoise protection 

• Mineral availability 

• Off-road vehicle use (ORV) 

• Special management areas/Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern (ACECs) 

• Minerals Management after Congressional 
Designation of Wilderness Areas 

• Utility corridors 



These seven issues were identified during BLM's 
scoping process, which began March 29, 1990 with 
the Federal Register publication of a Notice of 
Intent to prepare a Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. The process 
continued with scoping reports mailed to the public 
to present preliminary issues; to announce notices of 
public meetings; and to identify other issues to be 
considered in The Plan. 

Present management direction for the Las Vegas 
District is in two existing plans: 

• Clark County Management Framework Plan 
(MFP)(approved January 9, 1984) 

• Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement- Planning 
Area B (approved October 10, 1986). 

The current planning effort was initiated due to the 
following factors: 

• A regularly scheduled 5-year evaluation of the 
Clark County Management Framework Plan 
indicated the plan was not adequately addressing 
the rapidly changing public land use demands in 
Clark County. 

• The two present land use plans did not anticipate 
listing of the desert tortoise as a threatened 
species and, therefore, did not provide for its 
recovery. 

• Public land disposals and exchanges being 
accomplished by legislative action (such as 
Aerojet and Apex) generated public concern. 

These factors led to the determination that both 
plans (in particular the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan) needed to be amended or revised. 
Plan amendments usually focus on resolving a 
single issue and, depending on the significance of 
the anticipated impacts, may require an 
Environmental Impact Statement. A plan revision, 
which is usually developed to resolve multiple 
issues, generally requires an Environmental Impact 
Statement. Rather than amend the Clark County 
Management Framework Plan and Esmeralda- 
Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement-Planning 
Area B on a single issue basis, the decision was 
made to prepare The Plan addressing the areas 
covered by both existing plans. This option was 



1-1 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



projected to be the most cost-effective and efficient 
long-term solution to public land management 
concerns in southern Nevada. Management 
decisions in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan and Esmeralda-Southern Nye 
Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement determined to be valid would be carried 
forward into The Plan. 

Another factor supporting the current planning 
effort is that the planning area (where more than 
two-thirds of Nevada's population live) is 
experiencing rapid growth not only in the Las 
Vegas area but also in smaller communities 
including Laughlin, Mesquite, and Pahrump. This 
rapid growth, considered in conjunction with the 
intermingled land ownership pattern, necessitates 
that BLM respond to complex land use demands. 
Among those demands are: 

• Public land for community expansion and 
industrial uses in the Las Vegas Valley and 
surrounding areas. 

• Lands for open space recreation and public 
purposes. 

• Resources, such as sand and gravel, in support of 
regional growth. 

• Listing of the desert tortoise as a threatened 
species. 

These demands make it imperative to provide for 
orderly disposal of public lands for community 
development; to provide areas for sand, gravel, and 
other minerals consistent with all laws and 
regulations; and to implement the goals and 
objectives of the Desert Tortoise (Mojave 
Population) Recovery Plan (USFWS 1994). 

The planning process requires that a Resource 
Management Plan be a comprehensive document to 
address all resources and programs administered by 
BLM. Consequently, in addition to the seven 
identified issues, The Plan also addresses 
management of soil, air, and water resources, 
riparian areas, wild horses and burros, fire, cultural 
resources, wildlife, livestock grazing, visual 
resources, withdrawal review, and vegetation. 

Public input, as well as the availability of pertinent 
new data and the release of the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service's Draft Recovery Plan for the 
Desert Tortoise (Mojave Population) (1993) 
indicated the need to supplement The Draft Plan. 
The Supplement to the Draft Resource Management 



Plan, hereafter referred to as the Supplement to the 
Draft, focused on four issues: 

Issues that were either not included, or not 

analyzed adequately, in The Draft Plan and 

rangeland classification. 

Utility corridor locations and widths. 
• Mineral management and/or Congressional 

release of Wilderness Study Areas. 

Desert tortoise habitat management in 

conformance with the Tortoise Recovery Plan. 

The Plan's new alternative (Alternative E) 
identifies and analyzes management goals, 
objectives, and direction for these four issues, as 
well as all programs and resources managed by 
BLM. Based on public comment and internal 
review, The Plan uses Alternative E as its 
foundation, and includes portions of other 
alternatives where appropriate. 

Description of the Planning Area 

The planning area includes those lands in southern 
Nevada as identified on Map 1-1. The Las Vegas 
BLM District encompasses a total of approximately 
3,332,000 acres of public lands in Clark County and 
a portion of southern Nye County (Map 1-2 and 
Table 1-1). In addition, the BLM is also manages 
one million acres of split-estate lands in the 
planning area. The split-estate lands are of two 
types, one where the subsurface or mineral estate or 
a portion thereof is owned by the Federal 
government and the surface is under private 
ownership, and another where the Federal 
government owns the surface and the subsurface 
minerals or a portion thereof are in private 
ownership (Table 1-2). 

Southern Nevada is characterized by diverse 
geographical features. Landforms range from 
rugged mountain ranges, to sloping bajadas and 
broad valleys. The Colorado River and several of 
its tributaries flow through the eastern portions of 
the planning area. New communities and 
developments, such as Laughlin, are expanding 
along the Colorado River, providing jobs and 
recreational opportunities in previously undeveloped 
areas. The Las Vegas Valley portion of the 
planning area is a major topographic feature, 
trending north-south through the middle of the 
planning area. This valley has a burgeoning 
metropolitan area, consisting of the cities of Las 
Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder 



a 



{' 



m 






1-2 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 1-1. 


Surface Ownership of Lands in Las Vegas BLM District. 




County 


Acres 

Administered by 
BLM 


Acres Administered by 
Other Federal Agencies 


Total 
Patented 

Acres 1 


Planning Area 
Total Acres 


Clark 
Nye 
Totals 


2,596,348 2 

735.547 

3,331,895 


908,618 

13.628 

922,246 


553,716 

99.156 

652,872 


4,058,682 

848.331 

4,907,013 


'/ Includes private lands and State of Nevada lands (source: 
2 / Excludes Red Rock Conservation Area. 


Las Vegas Field Office files, 1991). 



Table 1-2. Federal Ow 
BLM District. 


nership of the Mineral Estate 


in Las Vegas 


Type of Mineral 








Acres 


All Minerals 








3,442,980 


All Leasable Minerals 








1,332 


Oil and Gas 








42,576 


Sodium and Potassium 








20,491 


Sodium 








2,139 


Potassium 








480 


Geothermal 








548 


Coal 








300 


Locatable Minerals 








220 


Fissionable Minerals 








80 


Saleable Minerals 








1,135 


Salable Minerals (except 
& gravel) 


for 


sand 




160 


Total 






3,482,960 


Source: BLM, Las Vegas 


Field Office files, 


1991) 





Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



City. Much of the planning area, however, remains 
remote and rural, with the population dispersed over 
large areas or clustered in small communities. The 
public lands in the planning area have 'important 
scenic, recreational, mineral, archeological, 
wilderness, wildlife, and vegetative values. Public 
uses of these resources often have an important role 
in the growth and development of local 
communities. 



Planning Process Overview 

The planning process enables BLM to address 
issues and concerns of the public, while complying 
with the laws and policies established by Congress 
and the Executive Branch of the Federal 
Government. 

The Plan was prepared following the nine planning 
steps described below. These steps emphasize 
public participation at several key stages. 

Step 1: Issue Identification 

Issues determine the focus of the Resource 
Management Plan process and indicate specific 
concerns of BLM and the public regarding the 
planning area. An issue is defined as an 
opportunity, conflict, or problem pertaining to 
management of public lands and associated 
resources. The intent of issue identification is to 
direct interdisciplinary analysis towards issue 
resolution. Issue identification for The Plan was 
initiated by BLM managers and resource specialists. 

A Notice of Intent was published in the Federal 
Register, inviting the public and other Federal, state, 
and county agencies to participate in the planning 
process. Scoping meetings were held in Beatty, Las 
Vegas, Laughlin, Mesquite, Pahrump, Searchlight, 
and Tonopah to receive public input. 



set standards for data collection, development of 
alternatives, and selection of the preferred 
alternative and final plan. Planning criteria ensure 
that the plan addresses identified issues and avoids 
unnecessary data collection and analysis. 



Step 3: Inventory and Data Collection 

This step involves collection and compilation of 
biological, physical, social and economic data in 
various forms from available sources to help resolve 
the planning issues. This data provides essential 
facts for making analysis, evaluations, and 
decisions. 



Step 4: Analysis of the Management Situation 

The Analysis of the Management Situation (AMS) 
is a concise assessment of the current situation. 
The AMS describes current BLM guidance, 
identifies existing problems and opportunities for 
their resolution, and consolidates existing data 
needed to analyze and resolve the identified issues. 
If sufficiently developed, the portion of the AMS 
describing present management (no action 
alternative) and affected environment may be used 
directly in the plan and environmental impact 
statement. 



Step 5: Formulation of Alternatives 

This step involves developing alternatives that 
consider the issues, planning criteria, and concerns 
raised during scoping. These alternatives will be 
presented for management consideration. The No 
Action Alternative (which represents continuation 
of present activities) is required. The purpose of 
the other alternatives is to resolve issues while 
emphasizing different levels of management 
intensity. 



Step 2: Development of Planning Criteria 

After issues are identified, planning criteria are 
formulated to guide development of the Resource 
Management Plan. The criteria are derived from 
laws, Executive Orders, regulations, planning 
principles, BLM national and state office guidance, 
consultation with other agencies, public 
involvement, and resource data. The criteria help 



Step 6: Estimation of Effects of Alternatives 

In accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act, the physical, biological, social, and 
economic effects of implementing each alternative 
are estimated to compare and evaluate impacts 
(See Summary Table, Table S-l). This step 
involves completing a general analysis of the issues 
and concerns for the planning area. (Note : Site- 



1-4 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



specific environmental assessments (EAs) will be 
prepared for specific projects and proposals on an 
activity plan or project-specific basis.) 



Step 7: Selection of Preferred Alternative 

A Preferred Alternative is selected after completing 
the analysis and resolution of the issues, resources 
affected, and management guidance in the two 
existing land use plans . This alternative may 
combine elements from the other alternatives to 
achieve maximum management flexibility in lands- 
related actions while continuing to meet the goals 
and objectives of BLM's multiple-use mandate. 

The Preferred Alternative, which will be 
recommended to the Nevada State Director, is 
determined based on the issues and concerns 
identified through the planning process; information 
obtained from public meetings and written 
comments; formal coordination and consultation 
with other agencies; decision criteria developed and 
considered by management; and impact analyses of 
the alternatives. The State Director reviews the 
selected alternative for approval. After State 
Director approval of the Preferred Alternative, the 
Draft Plan is distributed to the public, including 
other government agencies and interest groups, for a 
90-day review and comment period. 



Step 8: Selection of the Proposed Plan 

The District Manager develops a proposed plan 
based on public comments and other data, 
including estimation of effects. Following the 
public review and comment period, the BLM's Las 
Vegas District Manager recommends a proposed 
plan to the BLM Nevada State Director for 
approval. After evaluating public comments, the 
BLM may retain the preferred alternative as the 
proposed plan, reassess and modify the preferred 
alternative to meet management needs, utilize 
portions of alternatives, or modify an alternative 
previously analyzed in detail. 

The proposed plan should be within the range of 
alternatives previously selected for detailed study 
and analysis. After reviewing the recommended 
proposed plan, the Nevada State Director will issue 
a Notice of Availability through the Federal 
Register, file The Plan with the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA), and distribute the 



document to the public. 

The Governor of the State of Nevada is given a 60- 
day consistency review to determine the consistency 
of The Plan with state and local government plans 
and policies. This review begins with the 
Governor's receipt of the document. 

A 30-day protest period begins when The Plan is 
filed with the Environmental Protection Agency. If 
no protests are received during this time, the BLM 
State Director approves the plan and publishes an 
Approved Resource Management Plan/Record of 
Decision. Any protests that are received are 
resolved by the BLM State Director before the plan 
is approved and the Resource Management 
Plan/Record of Decision is published. 

Within 90 days after Resource Management Plan 
approval, a specific Implementation Plan will be 
developed to identify program priorities for the 
Plan's decisions and to determine the sequence and 
costs associated with their implementation. Site- 
specific environmental assessments will be prepared 
prior to initiating resource projects and proposals to 
analyze potential environmental impacts. Mitigation 
measures will be developed and incorporated as 
special stipulations into authorization permits. 



Step 9: Monitoring and Evaluation 

Monitoring and evaluation is conducted at intervals 
not to exceed 5 years, for the following purposes: 

• Determine effectiveness of the resource 
management plan in resolving issues. 

• Ensure effectiveness of mitigation measures. 
Verify assumptions used in assessing impacts. 

• Review whether changes have occurred in related 
plans of other Federal agencies, and state or 
local governments. 

• Determine if implementation of The Plan is 
achieving desired results. 

Information gained through this step is incorporated 
into future planning, including any amendments or 
revisions to the Resource Management Plan.. 



Planning Issues and Criteria 

Draft Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement 



1-5 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Issue 1 - Land Tenure 

Disposal of public lands through sale, exchange, or 
other methods was a major issue in the 
development of The Plan. During recent years, 
BLM received numerous requests for public land 
disposal. Many of the proposed actions were in 
conformance with current land use plans; however, 
some highly visible and politically sensitive 
proposals were not addressed in existing plans. 
Rather than wait for BLM to initiate a plan 
amendment, proponents of these non-conforming 
proposals sought legislative relief. Legislative 
disposals were successful in the case of Aerojet, 
Summa, Mesquite, Fort Mojave, and Apex. 
Numerous other legislative proposals were drafted, 
but not completed. This legislative activity 
highlighted the inadequacies of existing public land 
disposal decisions. 

The existing land use plans for BLM's Las Vegas 
District identified public lands for disposal (transfer 
from Federal ownership). However, the size and 
location of the identified acreage has not met the 
demand for large tracts of land for industrial 
purposes or desired places for community 
expansion. This situation led to the following 
questions: 

Which public lands in the planning area should 
be identified for disposal and by what methods? 

Should BLM acquire non-federal lands in the 
Las Vegas District, and if so, for what purpose 
and where? 

How can BLM's planning system best provide 
for large-scale land transfers involving public 
lands? 



Issue 2 - Desert Tortoise 

Over three million acres of desert tortoise habitat 
occur within the Las Vegas BLM District. On 
August 4, 1989, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
under its emergency authority, placed the desert 
tortoise on the Endangered Species List. On April 
2, 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a 
final rule listing the desert tortoise as a threatened 
species. To comply with the Endangered Species 
Act, BLM must consult with the U. S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service on all Federal actions (including 
The Plan) that may affect a threatened or 
endangered species and take actions to aid in their 



recovery. Tortoise habitat comprises the 
overwhelming majority (in excess of 80 percent) of 
the planning area, affecting to some degree every 
program administered by the BLM. In some 
instances, it may be necessary to radically alter the 
current management situation to accommodate the 
biological needs of the desert tortoise. 

Clark County's long-term Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) known as the Clark County Desert 
Conservation Plan (CCDCP) was approved on July 
12, 1995. The Habitat Conservation Plan was 
required under the Endangered Species Act to 
obtain a "Section 10a" permit allowing the "take" of 
desert tortoises on private lands in the county. The 
Habitat Conservation Plan propose mitigation for 
impacts to desert tortoise on, but not limited to, 
private lands through several means, including 
providing additional funding for management of 
"Desert Wildlife Management Areas" (DWMAs). 

The BLM will use the term "Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern" in place of Desert Wildlife 
Management Area, on approximately 744,000 acres 
of public lands in the planning area. These Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern would be 
managed to benefit the desert tortoise. Most other 
uses of the public lands would be strictly curtailed 
or eliminated. Both the Draft Plan and the 
Supplement to the Draft analyzed several different 
scenarios to protect and provide for recovery of the 
desert tortoise, including designation of Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern. 

Desert tortoise habitat comprises approximately 80 
percent of the planning area; a majority of the 
programs administered by Las Vegas Field Office 
occur within that habitat. Listing of the desert 
tortoise as a threatened species requires 
management actions and changes in land uses not 
currently provided by the two existing land use 
plans. The Endangered Species Act requires that 
Federal agencies use their authorities to implement 
programs for the conservation of endangered and 
threatened species. 

To determine which land designation would offer 
greatest protection for the desert tortoise, the BLM 
must resolve the following questions: 

• Should Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
be designated in the BLM Las Vegas District to 
assist implementation of the desert tortoise 
recovery plan? If so, what measures should 



I 



I 






1-6 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



BLM take to ensure the integrity of the Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern? 



Issue 3 - Mineral Development 

An important component of Nevada's economy is 
mineral resource development, which is a principal 
use of the public lands. The extraction of sand and 
gravel in particular is critical to continued growth 
and development of the Las Vegas area and other 
southern Nevada communities. Sand and gravel 
deposits occur in large quantities throughout the 
planning area. Many factors (including proximity 
to developing or residential areas, cost of extraction 
and hauling, haul routes, and proposed duration of 
the operation) are involved in determining where 
sand and gravel can be mined. The rapid urban 
growth placing demands on the sand and gravel 
business may eventually extend to the area where 
such extraction is occurring. Public pressure may 
then be to relocate the sand and gravel operation 
away from the new residential area. 

A management decision in the Clark County 
Management Framework Plan, which restricted the 
method of sand and gravel disposal in the Las 
Vegas Valley, has created a problem. Major 
producers of sand and gravel prefer to have 
independent sites that are not shared by competitors. 
The "community pit" concept forces these operators 
to share the same source location. Difficulties in 
managing large scale operations in community pits 
have resulted in significant mineral trespass and 
inability to identify trespassers. 

Other types of mineral development (including 
gypsum and limestone mining, gold exploration, oil 
and gas leasing, and sodium and potassium leasing) 
have potential to impact sensitive biological and 
cultural resources and often result in conflicts with 
other land uses. The filing of mining claims on 
public lands identified for sale or exchange has 
become a common practice in southern Nevada, 
with many individuals making sizable incomes 
selling "mineral rights" to prospective surface 
owners. This document includes alternatives to 
resolve minerals-related conflicts in the planning 
area. 

Although important in the growth of southern 
Nevada, mineral exploration and development often 
conflict with other land uses and can adversely 
impact other natural and recreational values. 



The environmental concerns, as well as availability, 
of mineral resources were voiced by the public 
throughout the scoping process and require close 
consideration to ensure that the quality of life is not 
adversely affected by the continued growth of the 
Las Vegas Valley. 

These mineral development concerns led to the 
following two questions: 

• Which areas within Las Vegas BLM District 
should be withdrawn from mineral entry, and 
how should existing mineral operations be 
addressed if such withdrawals occur? 

• How can reliable sources of sand and gravel be 
made available for local communities and 
industry? 



Issue 4 - Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Use 

Off-road vehicles are commonly associated with 
desert areas and have traditionally been a major use 
of the public lands in the Southwest. In the 
planning area, individual casual off-road vehicle use 
likely accounts for the single greatest recreational 
use of public lands. Under existing management, 
competition off-road vehicle events comprise the 
largest organized recreational activity administered 
by the Las Vegas BLM Field Office. More than 50 
percent of the planning area is "open" to 
unrestricted individual off-road vehicle use, and 
approximately 70 percent of the planning area is 
available for competitive off-road vehicle events. 

These uses can significantly impact the area's 
physical, biological, and cultural resources. Such 
activities also often occur in areas believed essential 
to continued existence of the desert tortoise in 
Nevada. Various off-road vehicle designations and 
competitive use areas are proposed and analyzed in 
The Plan. 

The current off-road vehicle use designations are 
often in direct conflict with management objectives 
for desert tortoise habitat, air and watershed 
management, non-motorized recreation, and 
protection of other resource values. Because of this 
conflict, the following questions must be resolved to 
ensure full compliance with all applicable laws and 
regulations: 



1-7 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Should existing open, limited, and closed area 
designations be changed? 

Should competitive off-road vehicle use be 
restricted to certain areas, courses, and/or times 
of the year? If so, when and where? 



Issue 5 - Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 

Section 202(c)(3) of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 directs BLM to give 
priority to designation and protection of areas of 
critical environmental concern. These areas contain 
significant physical, cultural, or biological values 
that are more than locally significant and warrant 
special management attention to prevent their 
degradation or loss. Currently, there are no 
designated Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
in the planning area, although several areas were 
nominated for Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern status during the previous land use 
planning process. 

Environmental organizations and many members of 
the general public are aware of the Congressional 
direction concerning Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern. Many have become 
increasingly vocal in their demand for more BLM- 
designated Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. The scoping process for The Plan 
included a request for nominating Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern. As a result, more than 80 
nominations for individual Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern were received. The Plan 
analyzes the impacts of designating the nominated 
areas that meet the designation's "relevance and 
importance" criteria and warrant special 
management attention. 

Public attention has increasingly been directed 
toward protection of natural, recreational, and scenic 
values on public lands. Protection of these values 
often necessitates a special management 
designation, such as an Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern, to minimize or eliminate 
competing or conflicting uses and to manage for a 
dominant use. Therefore, a full analysis and 
identification of clear direction are necessary to 
ensure that resources are protected while an 
appropriate level of recreation occurs. 



Due to the above reasons, the following questions 
require full attention during development of the 
Plan: 

• Should existing special management areas be 
retained? 

• Should additional special management areas be 
designated? If so, what special management is 
needed to protect the sensitive resource values? 



Issue 6 - Utility Corridors 

The Las Vegas area is a critical link in the complex 
network of interstate electrical transmission facilities 
and other utilities such as oil and gas pipelines and 
fiber-optic communication lines. Most facilities 
either provide services to the energy-consuming 
regions of southern California, or link southern 
California and the Las Vegas area with the energy- 
producing Intermountain and Rocky Mountain 
regions. 

There are limited options to locate utility structures 
in the northeast and east portions of the Las Vegas 
Valley Land due to use restrictions in several areas 
(including Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 
Desert National Wildlife Range, Nellis Air Force 
Base, and the Sunrise Mountain Instant Wilderness 
Study Area). Another factor is the increasing 
public opposition from residents of Las Vegas, 
North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Clark County to 
locating additional powerlines within their 
communities. Future construction of any facility 
destined to serve southern California depends on the 
current limited options for their location. 

Utility corridors in the planning area include 
legislatively designated utility corridors managed by 
BLM in the Aerojet and Apex areas. The 
Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement provides for 
61 miles of BLM-designated corridors in southern 
Nye County. The remainder of the planning area 
has no existing designated corridors. The Draft 
Plan proposed several possible utility corridors and 
analyzed the impacts associated with their 
designation and development. 

Even though there is a continuing high demand for 
rights-of-way (ROWs), utility corridors were not 
designated in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan. The need for corridors is evident, 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



however, considering the number of proposals 
identified over the past few years. This need for 
utility corridors points to a need to address the 
following questions in the analysis: 

• Should utility corridors be designated only where 
interstate Rights-of Way currently exist, or 
should new areas be considered? 

• What is the best method to achieve maximum 
consistency with designated corridors in adjacent 
planning areas, field offices, and states? 



Supplement to the Draft Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental 
Impact Statement 

Supplements to existing draft Environmental Impact 
Statements are prepared when additional 
environmental analysis is needed. A supplement is 
often used to address alternatives not previously 
analyzed and which may lead to a new decision. A 
supplement is generally prepared when there are 
significant new circumstances or facts relevant to 
environmental concerns and bearing on the 
proposed action or its impacts which were not 
addressed in the existing analysis. 

In May 1994, the Supplement to the Draft was 
published to address new issues and expand on 
previously identified issues. 



Issue 1 - Range land Classification 

Due to comments from the public and other 
agencies, the rangcland classification was 
considered as an issue for the Supplement to the 
Draft. Although rangeland classification is an 
administrative action, the determination of grazing 
preference must be analyzed through the National 
Environmental Policy Act and the planning 
process. The BLM completed field evaluations of 
rangelands in its Las Vegas District to provide the 
technical basis for reclassification of many 
allotments currently classified as ephemeral range 
and managed under the Ephemeral Range Rule. 
Ephemeral range is considered to be predominantly 
composed of annual species, lacks perennial species, 
and is generally grazed in the spring. Some 
allotments that are grazed year-round result in 
substantial grazing of perennial vegetative species. 



In 1969, all of Clark County was classified as 
ephemeral rangeland. This included the highest 
mountains and areas with up to 800 pounds of 
perennial forage production per acre. These areas 
do not fully meet the criteria identified for 
ephemeral rangeland. 



Issue 2 - Utility Corridors 

Section 503 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) requires BLM to 
designate utility corridors to prevent their 
proliferation across public lands. All large utilities 
would be directed to use designated corridors, if 
possible. Smaller utilities would have the option to 
locate within or outside the corridors. 

The Draft Plan proposed designation of a corridor 
network throughout the planning unit. Public input, 
re-evaluation of expected demand, and the need to 
resolve resource conflicts generated the 
identification and analysis of new corridors in the 
Supplement to the Draft. 



Issue 3 - Mineral Management After Congressional 
Designation of Wilderness Areas 

Manage, _nt of Wilderness Study Areas released 
by Congress must be addressed in case Congress 
acts on the designation decision within the life of 
The Plan. Identifying management for these areas 
in this document eliminates the need for a future 
amendment to the Resource Management Plan. 

Planning Criteria "I" of The Draft Plan required 
development of management goals and direction for 
all Wilderness Study Areas within the planning area 
in case of the areas' non-designation by Congress as 
wilderness areas and their release from further 
study. The Draft Plan identified the Wilderness 
Study Areas as having inherent semi-primitive non- 
motorized values for recreational activity. 
Protection and management of these areas to meet 
the recreation standards for semi-primitive values 
(see Glossary for definitions) were included in 
Wilderness recommendations for all alternatives, 
except the No Action Alternative. Public comments 
suggested that the alternatives did not analyze a full 
range of management options for minerals 
development within Wilderness Study Areas. 
Therefore, the Supplement to the Draft offered 
additional management objectives and direction for 



1-9 



:zs.:-^:.. .■,: ■^■■,.^ 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 






Wilderness Study Areas released by Congress. 



Issue 4 - Desert Tortoise Management ih 
Conformance with the Recovery Plan 

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service published the 
Draft Recovery Plan for the Desert Tortoise 
(Mojave Population) in April 1993, and on August 
30, 1993 {Federal Register, Vol. 58, No. 166) 
proposed Critical Habitat for the desert tortoise. To 
protect desert tortoise habitat within the planning 
area, four alternatives in The Draft Plan included 
designations and management recommendations for 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, as derived 
from proposals in the Clark Count}' Habitat 
Conservation Plan and in response to public input. 
These recommendations required evaluation for 
specific criteria and objectives included in the Draft 
Tortoise Recovery Plan. 



the Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement will be brought forward into the Draft 
Resource Management Plan, with relevant 
objectives and management directions carried 
forward into The Plan. 

E. Decisions about specific range, wildlife, and 
watershed improvements will not be included in 
The Plan, but instead deferred to activity-level 
plans (such as habitat management plans and 
allotment management plans) designed to 
implement Plan decisions. 

F. Management use and protection of water, water 
resources, riparian zones, and other related 
values will be high priority. 

G. When digitized information is available, the 
Geographic Information System (GIS) will be 
used. 



Planning Criteria 

The planning criteria for The Plan is listed below: 

A. The planning area is defined as the Las Vegas 
District. The Plan will make planning 
determinations for all public lands located within 
the planning area boundary, including those 
public lands administered by other BLM offices. 

B. The planning effort will rely on available 
inventories of the lands and resources in the 
planning area to reach sound management 
decisions. Decisions requiring additional 
inventories will be deferred until the inventories 
can be conducted. 

C. In accordance with BLM Manual 1620.06A, The 
Plan will not analyze nor make determinations 
for the following resource: 

Coal - Although coal is potentially present in the 
planning area, it is not in sufficient quantity or 
quality to warrant demand or interest by industry 
or the public. If, in the future, new technology 
becomes available and/or demand increases, a 
plan amendment will be prepared before any 
coal-related activities can be authorized. 

D. Valid existing management decisions from the 
Clark County Management Framework Plan and 



H. Watershed determinations will be based on 
hydrographic basins. 

I. The Plan will incorporate a method for being 
amended on a regularly scheduled basis. 

J. Wilderness Study Areas not designated as 

wilderness by Congress will be "released" from 
further study. The Plan makes determinations 
concerning the management of all Wilderness 
Study Areas in the planning area, contingent on 
their release. 

K. Approximately 15,000 acres of public lands 
near the Valley of Fire State Park and 
Overtone, which were not studied in the initial 
wilderness inventory, would be inventoried for 
wilderness values. In addition, any acquired 
lands or lands where protective withdrawals are 
removed would be inventoried to determine 
wilderness character. Any other lands not 
evaluated for wilderness character would be 
inventoried. Any areas designated as 
Wilderness Study Areas through the Resource 
Management Plan or plan amendment and 
subsequently recommended for wilderness 
designation will receive Interim Management 
Policy (IMP) protection until Congress either 
designates them as wilderness or releases them 
for other purposes. 



1-10 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Concerns Not Addressed 

The Las Vegas Water District's water right 
applications and the proposed Yucca Mountain 
Project were identified as concerns by the public. 
Both topics are beyond the scope of BLM's 
planning process and, therefore, are not addressed 
in The Plan. 



Consistency With Other Plans 

Existing plans that address management of lands 
adjacent to the planning area are: 

• Caliente Management Framework Plan 

' Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement-Planning 
Area A 

• California Desert Plan 

• Shivwits Management Framework Plan 

• Desert National Wildlife Range Refuge 
Management Plan 

• Ash Meadows Refuge Management. Plan 

• Nevada Statewide Policy Plan for Public Lands 
(Senate Bill 40) 

• Death Valley National Monument General 
Management Plan 

• Lake Mead National Recreation Area General 
Management Plan 

• Clark County Desert Conservation Plan. 

Continuing coordination and consultation occurred 
during the public comment period for the Draft 
Plan, followed by the Supplement to the Draft and 
The Plan. As noted above, the Governor of 
Nevada will have 60 days to review The Plan to 
determine its consistency with state plans. 

Inconsistencies between adopted resource-related 
policies and programs of other Federal agencies and 
state and local governments are noted below. These 
inconsistencies are based primarily on differences in 
the quality of habitat and recovery of the desert 
tortoise. 



Northeastern Mojave Recovery Unit 

In addition, there are a few inconsistencies between 
other agency plans: however, the rationale described 
below supports their differences. 



Livestock Grazing - The Plan would close the 
desert tortoise areas of critical environmental 
concern to livestock grazing. The Arizona Strip is 
closing the Pakoon Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern, but will allow winter grazing on the 
Virgin Slope and Beaver Dam Slope Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern. This grazing 
closure will include livestock grazing in Nevada in 
the Mesquite Community Allotment (fenced). The 
Plan allows for retirement of allotments on a 
voluntary basis. In Ely, winter grazing will be 
allowed in the Beaver Dam Slope Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern on any allotments that are 
not purchased. Dixie will allow winter grazing on 
Beaver Dam Slope. 

Based on the numerous grazing allotments being 
closed in Nevada, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service decided that allowing grazing in Utah and 
Arizona would still meet recovery objectives for the 
Recovery Unit. 



Mining - Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
in the Las Vegas BLM will be: 

• Withdrawn from locatable entry. 

• Closed to solid leasable. 

• Have fluid minerals limited to no surface 
occupancy. 

• Restrict salable minerals to expansion of existing 
pits within 0.5 mile of highways and certain 
county roads (Map 2-12 and 2-13). 

This management varies slightly from Arizona strip 
and Dixie, which leaves areas of critical 
environmental concern open to locatables, has 
waivable no-surface occupancy and seasonal 
restrictions on fluids (no activity in tortoise active 
season), and closes areas of critical environmental 
concern to salable (except hand collection of rocks 
for personal use) and solid leasable. Ely will 
withdraw Kane Springs Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern from locatable entry; the 
other ACECs will be open. All Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern in Ely BLM District are 
open to fluid and non-energy leasables subject to 
timing limitations and controlled surface use 
constraints. Salable mineral development is 
restricted to within 0.5 mile of highways and certain 
county roads. 



1-11 



Chapter 1 - Introduction 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS 



May 1998 



Off-Road-Vehicles - Las Vegas BLM District will 
allow non-speed off-road vehicle events on 
designated roads and trails subject to restrictions, 
including size and number of vehicles and the 
season of use. Arizona Strip allows non-speed 
events on designated roads and trails during the 
tortoise inactive season. Ely will allow non-speed 
events within designated corridors with no seasonal 
restrictions. Dixie is similar to Arizona. Events 
crossing county or state lines will be consistent with 
the most restrictive office. 



Wild Burros - The Arizona Strip will manage for an 
appropriate management level of zero for Tassi 
Wildhorse Herd Management Area. The Las Vegas 
BLM Field Office will manage Gold Butte for an 
Appropriate Management Level of 22-98. If 
Nevada numbers are managed at the Appropriate 
Management Level, animal drift into Arizona is not 
expected to occur. 



Eastern Mojave Recovery Unit 

The Needles BLM Field Office will designate two 
areas of critical environmental concern for desert 
tortoise adjacent to an area of critical environmental 
concern in Nevada. One wild burro herd area 
(Shadow Valley) will be zeroed out. Since the 
National Park Service manages most of the 
allotments, the allotments will not be closed to 
grazing. The National Park Service will manage for 
desert tortoise recovery. It appears that these two 
management plans will be consistent, with The Plan. 



1-12 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEI5 - May 1998 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 



Introduction 

The Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, often referenced 
herein as The Plan, was developed by a BLM 
interdisciplinary planning team. The Plan is based 
primarily on Alternative E presented in the 
Supplement to the Draft Resource Management Plan 
(May 1994), and in response to public and internal 
comments received during the first seven steps of the 
planning process. Also, some objectives and 
management directions from the Draft's other 
alternatives were incorporated, where appropriate, into 
Alternative E to develop The Plan. 

The Plan is written to ensure compliance with 
provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and 
subsequent Biological Opinions, as well as the Desert 
Tortoise (Mojave Population) Recovery Plan (often 
referenced as Tortoise Recovery Plan). The Plan will 
guide future management of public lands in the Las 
Vegas BLM District. 

The Plan consists of a combination of management 
directions, allocations, and guidelines that will direct 
where actions may occur, the resource conditions to 
be maintained, and use limitations required to meet 
management objectives. 



Range of Alternatives 

Six alternatives were analyzed in the Draft Resource 
Management Plan and the Supplement to the Draft 
Resource Management Plan. The alternatives were 
developed specifically to respond to issues identified 
by the public during the initial scoping process and to 
meet the requirements of the Supplemental Program 
Guidance. Although no single alternative satisfies all 
concerns expressed, the concerns are addressed in 
various ways in the six alternatives. 

The alternatives were prepared within the following 
constraints: 

All alternatives are legally feasible and 
technically possible. The alternatives present a 
balance between legal requirements to protect, 
restore, and enhance natural resource values and 
to provide for the need to produce food, fiber, 
minerals, and services. 



The Stateline Draft Resource Management Plan 
and Supplement to the Draft Resource 
Management Plan alternatives were formulated to 
accommodate multiple-use management of 
resources in Wilderness Study Areas and Instant 
Study Areas, in the event those study areas are 
released from wilderness consideration by 
Congress. 



To provide for management of any new 
Wilderness Area designations by Congress, the 
Approved Plan/Record of Decision would be 
maintained and amended, where necessary, to meet 
objectives of wilderness management. 



Plan Implementation 

Land use actions would be implemented after the 
State Director approves The Plan's Record of 
Decision. The Plan's decisions become final with 
issuance of the Record of Decision. Actions 
immediately effective with the State Director's 
signature include designations of Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, utility corridors, off-road 
vehicle designations, and Visual Resource 
Management classes. Specific management 
prescriptions for Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern and off -road vehicle designations would be 
implemented when activity-level management plans 
are developed and appropriate clearances are 
completed. 

Actions that cannot be implemented immediately 
include mineral withdrawal revocations, which must 
be approved by the Secretary. Actions such as this 
that are recommended in this proposed Plan would not 
be valid until approved by the appropriate authority. 

Other actions in The Plan, such as location of 
powerlines in corridors or location of flood control 
structures, require further detailed planning and 
environmental documentation before beginning any 
on-the-ground activities. For these actions, integrated 
activity plans would be developed through 
coordination with the public, other Federal agencies, 
and state and local agencies. 



2-1 



iimnwriwr»M^ m 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



An example of an action requiring further public 
involvement and site-specific analysis is disposal of 
Federal land. Although The Plan establishes land 
disposal areas, land cannot be disposed until an 
environmental analysis is completed that determines 
its disposal is in the public interest and conforms with 
the approved Resource Management Plan. 



Alternatives Considered but 
Dropped from Detailed Analysis 

Winter Grazing in Desert Tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern 

Among the alternatives proposed was one with winter 
grazing by livestock in desert tortoise Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern, contingent that 
grazing not exceed restrictive utilization levels. Based 
on the Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan, livestock 
grazing in desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern is not compatible with 
recovery of the desert tortoise and should be 
prohibited. Therefore, this alternative was dropped 
from further consideration. 

Range Reclassification 

The proposed alternative of range reclassification of 
21 ephemeral grazing allotments to ephemeral and/or 
perennial or to perennial was analyzed in the 
Supplement to the Draft Resource Management Plan. 
Since the majority of rangeland within allotments 
remaining open to livestock grazing is below 3,200 
feet elevation and also below the 8-inch precipitation 
isoline, reclassification was dropped from further 
consideration. 



Alternatives Considered in the Draft 
and Supplement to the Draft 
Resource Management Plan 

The following six alternatives met the discretionary 
limits established through applicable laws, regulations, 
and policies. The alternatives were developed to 
provide management options that address issues 
important to the public and management concerns. 

No Action Alternative 



This alternative represents no change to the current 
management direction. Management of all resources 
would be accomplished by following the decisions 
and objectives in the Clark County Management 
Framework Plan and the Esmeralda - Southern Nye 
Resource Management Plan, Planning Area B. 



Alternative A 

This alternative provides for a full spectrum of public 
land uses in the traditional sense of multiple-use and 
sustained-yield; consumptive and non-consumptive 
uses would be balanced. Lands would be made 
available for expansion and development of growing 
communities. 



Alternative B 

This alternative provides for maximum opportunities 
for land-based growth and development needs of the 
State of Nevada, while continuing to provide for 
multiple-use and sustained yield of the public lands. 



Alternative C 

This alternative provides for managing public lands on 
an ecosystem basis, with an emphasis on biodiversity, 
non-consumptive uses, and protection and recovery of 
the desert tortoise in accordance with the Clark 
County Habitat Conservation Plan (Clark County 
HCP). 



Alternative D 

This alternative continues multiple use of public lands, 
permits maximum flexibility in disposal of public 
lands, and provides for protection and recovery of the 
desert tortoise. 



Alternative E 

This alternative provides for public land uses on the 
basis of multiple-use and sustained-yield, while 
emphasizing biodiversity and protection and recovery 
of the desert tortoise, in conformance with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Tortoise 
Recovery Plan. 



2-2 



. 1 _L. 



Changes from Draft to Final 
Resource Management Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement 

This section is included to describe the changes made 
in format or content due to public and other state or 
Federal agency comments and concerns, as well as 
BLM management review to ensure consistency with 
laws and regulations. 



Format Changes Made in Chapter 2 

• A specific code, consisting of letters and a 
number, was assigned for each resource to help 
identify specific resource sections. 

• Specific resource sections were arranged to group 
similar resources. For example, Lands, Rights-of- 
Way, and Acquisition are located in sequentially to 
help locate these realty-related sections. 



Resource-Specific Changes Made in The 
Plan 

Air Resource Management 

Language was added to ensure conformity with the 
Clean Air Act. 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Management direction for identifying native desert 
vegetation to aid in reducing water consumption was 
deleted. In the Forestry section, FR-2-a identifies 
salvage and harvest of desert vegetation from areas 
where surface disturbance occurs. 

Management direction identifying rights-of-way for 
flood control developments was deleted . Flood 
control was added to RW-1. 

Riparian Management 

The objective was changed to read: "Ensure that all 
riparian areas are in proper functioning condition." 

Ensuring that 75 percent of riparian areas is in proper 
functioning condition by 1997 was an interim goal of 
the Riparian- Wetland Initiative. The long-term goal is 
for all riparian areas to be in proper functioning 
condition, at a minimum. After proper functioning 
condition is achieved, then manage for an advanced 
ecological condition. 

Reference to completion of a specific number of 
riparian projects per year was dropped. The BLM 
will still implement protection of riparian areas, where 
needed, as funding becomes available. 

Reference to Potential Natural Community and 
Desired Plant Community was dropped, because the 
Vegetation section sets management objectives of 
plants for all programs. 



Soil Resource Management 

The reference to completion of an Order III Soil 
Survey was deleted. 

A watershed objective was adjusted to include the 
following statement: "Maintain those watersheds with 
a stable and slight erosion condition with a high 
erosion susceptibility." (The original management 
direction addressed improving such watersheds.) The 
wording is incorporated into SL-l-c. Also see Table 
2-1. 

Actions to maintain these watersheds will be sufficient 
to maintain or enhance vegetative cover that is key in 
erosion control. 



Water Resource Management 



Vegetation Management 

Objectives and management actions pertaining to 
special status plant species were moved from the 
Vegetation Management section to the section on 
Fish, Wildlife, and Special Status Species. Plant 
objectives were combined with objectives for special 
status animals (SS-1 and SS-2) to avoid unnecessary 
duplication. 

The objective to "maintain or improve habitat of 
threatened, endangered or candidate plant species 
found on public land" was dropped, because it was 
considered a management direction. The intent of the 
objective was incorporated into Objectives SS-1 and 
SS-2. 

Management direction to "develop appropriate 
mitigation measures through mining plans of 
operation, Section 7 consultation, and other 
appropriate actions before allowing construction, 



2-3 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



mining activity or off -highway vehicle activity on 
sites known to be habitat for threatened, endangered 
or special status species." was moved to the section 
on Standard Operating Procedures. This management 
direction is discussed in a general sense under the 
Fish, Wildlife, and Special Status Species section of 
the Standard Operating Procedures. 

Management direction regarding development of a 
management plan for Nellis Dunes to address off- 
highway vehicle management and Arctomecon 
californica was changed to "implementing the Las 
Vegas Bear Poppy Habitat Management Plan" and 
moved to the Standard Operating Procedures section. 
The development of habitat management plans is 
identified in the Fish, Wildlife, and Special Status 
Species section of the Standard Operating Procedures. 



Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 

This section was moved to precede the Fish, 
Wildlife, and Special Status Species section, because 
this section is where areas of critical environmental 
concern are first referenced. 

The title "Special Management Areas" was changed 
to "Areas of Critical Environmental Concern." 

The proposed Arden Historic Sites Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern originally totaled 
approximately 6,320 acres, the majority of which 
overlapped the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. 
Both areas are proposed for mineral withdrawal 
(subject to valid existing rights) from locatables, 
saleables, and leasables. The small portion of the 
proposed Area of Critical Environmental Concern to 
the north of the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center 
would not be afforded the same protection if the Area 
of Critical Environmental Concern was dropped from 
further consideration. 

Based upon BLM site inventories, the significant sites 
within the proposed Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern are north of the Desert Tortoise Conservation 
Center. However, associated historic cultural 
resources in the form of contributing elements to the 
Arden Historic District are within the Desert Tortoise 
Conservation Center in Section 4 in the form of an 
historic railroad camp, water pipeline, a portion of a 
shoofly railroad alignment, and an historic railroad 
construction site. Therefore, redefining the Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern by including Section 
4, along with that area to the north of the Desert 



Tortoise Conservation Center, will afford adequate 
protection for those sites in the Arden area. This 
modified Area of Critical Environmental Concern 
proposed boundary change would reduce the total 
acres of the Area of Critical Environmental Concern 
to approximately 1,480 acres. 

This change would also allow for expansion of the 
Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and provide 
needed protection for cultural resources. The original 
boundary encompassed a few thousand acres of land 
that had no cultural significance. 

Management directions were developed for 
Wilderness Study Areas within an Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern and also for those lands 
relinquished by another Federal agency that are within 
an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The 
intent of these directions is to ensure appropriate 
protection for these areas. 

The area referred to as Gold. Butte Area of Critical 
Enviromnental Concern, parts A-C, resulted from 
individual nominations for several smaller areas, 
including critical tortoise habitat, cultural sites, a 
natural hazard area, and the Virgin Mountains. 
Because these nominated areas either overlapped, 
were located within larger areas, or were immediately 
adjacent to one another, they were combined into one 
large area of critical environmental concern and 
named as Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern. Management actions within Gold Butte 
will vary, depending on values in each part of the 
Area of Critical Environmental Concern (Tables 2-2, 
2-4 ,and 2-5). 

The Sunrise Mountain Research Natural Area was 
incorpora* , < into the Rainbow Gardens Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern, and the Virgin 
Mountain Outstanding Natural Area was incorporated 
into the Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern, Part C. The Pine Creek Research Natural 
Area is within the Red Rock Canyon National 
Conservation Area and is addressed in the Red Rock 
General Management Plan. 



Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 

• The term "Desert Wildlife Management Area" was 
changed to "Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern." 



2-4 



ttsmaa^amms^mmMBi 



• This section's name was changed to "Fish, 
Wildlife, and Special Status Species Management." 
Objectives and management direction for all special 
status species, including plants, were moved to this 
section. Objectives and management direction for 
fish and wildlife were labeled FW, and those for 
special status species were labeled SS. 

• The terms "category 1 and category 2 candidate 
species" are no longer used. Species designated as 
candidate species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service will be identified as "candidate species." 
Species of special concern identified by the BLM, 
including state-listed species, will be referred to as 
either "sensitive" or "special status" species. 

• Management direction was included to allow for 
drift of elk onto BLM-administered lands. If elk do 
move onto BLM-administered land, habitat would 
be monitored to ensure the proper utilization of 
forage. 

• Management direction was included to address 
development of Conservation Agreements with the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Current policy 
encourages development of such agreements to 
reduce the likelihood of future Federal listing of 
BLM sensitive or State-listed species. 

• Management direction was added to cooperate and 
collaborate with Clark County in development of a 
county-wide Multiple Species Conservation Plan. 
This planning effort is currently ongoing, with BLM 
as a cooperator. 

• Boundaries for the Desert Tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern were refined based on 
information gathered after issuance of the 
Supplement to the Draft. The area west of 
Searchlight was included in the Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern to ensure a protected 
corridor between Ivanpah and Piute valleys. 

• Category 1 and 2 tortoise habitat is no longer used 
as a basis for management prescriptions. Instead, 
management actions focus on tortoise Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern and/or designated 
critical habitat. 

• References to "potential natural community" and 
"desired plant community" were removed because 
the Vegetation section sets management objectives 
of plants for all programs. 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FE1S - May 1998 

Forestry 

Identification of a specific location for Mesquite wood 
harvest was dropped due to concerns expressed for the 
dwindling stands. Mesquite wood harvest could be 
considered in the future if management of the stands 
requires thinning or removal of dead trees for fire 
hazard reduction. 



Livestock Grazing Management 

This section was revised to reflect three main 
objectives, having associated management direction 
listed below each objective. Previously identified 
objectives were included in the management direction 
section. 

The Maintain, Intensive, Custodial (MIC) selective 
management approach was completed after 
determining the total number of allotments remaining 
open to grazing. Any allotment closed to grazing was 
not categorized. 

Revised regulations for grazing administration (43 
CFR 4100) of public lands managed by the Bureau of 
Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. 
On February 12, 1997, the standards and guidelines 
for the Mojave-Southern Great Basin area in Nevada 
were approved by the Secretary of the Interior. These 
standards for rangeland health and guidelines for 
grazing administration will be applied to grazing 
management in the Las Vegas planning area (see 
Appendix L). (Reference: Published 
Conformance/Administrative Determination, 1997.) 
Terms and conditions of permits on allotments open 
to grazing will be in conformance with the appropriate 
standards and guidelines. 

References to "potential natural community" and 
"desired plant community" were removed because the 
Vegetation section addresses management of plants 
for all programs. 



Wild Horse and Burro Management 

The format for this section was revised to clarify the 
actual proposed management. 

Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas were 
changed to include wild horse and burro use areas 
identified on the original 1971 field maps, and to 
existing roads and fences for ease of management. 
The BLM will work closely with Nevada Division of 



2-5 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



I 



Wildlife, other State and local agencies, and interested 
parties to properly manage wild horses and burros. 

Reference to "potential natural community" and 
"desired plant community" was removed because the 
Vegetation section sets the management of plants for 
all programs. 



Lands 

The Las Vegas Valley disposal boundary has slightly 
changed numerous times due to coordination with 
congressional representatives, State and County 
agencies, and the general public. 

A disposal area of approximately 985 acres was 
identified west of Las Vegas to allow exchange of 
public lands for Blue Diamond Cholla habitat (see 
Map 2-3). 

Management direction was added to ensure that any 
existing Recreation and Public Purpose lease (located 
inside the existing disposal boundary but outside the 
proposed disposal areas) that is identified for sale 
prior to plan approval would be available for sale. 
Therefore, existing disposal actions would remain 
disposal actions. 

A management direction was added to allow for 
repositioning of public lands outside the proposed 
disposal areas to consolidate public land patterns and 
to improve public services and BLM management. 
This direction would be accomplished on a case-by- 
case basis through exchange only and would be 
subject to meeting specific criteria identified in LD- 
1-b. 

A management direction was added to terminate two 
outdated small tract classifications. The small tract 
lease/sale authority was repealed with the passage of 
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976. 

A management direction was added to identify 
competitive bidding procedures and other criteria for 
processing requests involving new communication 
sites. 



Rights-of-Way Management 

The BLM will not designate a corridor on Moapa 
Indian Reservation lands. The proposed corridors will 



align with the area identified in the Moapa 
Legislation. 



Recreation Management 

Special Recreation Management Areas 

Designation of Special Recreation Management Areas 
in the draft alternatives was not related to existing 
Special Recreation Management Areas designated in 
earlier decisions (No Action Alternative). Since none 
of the draft alternatives proposed to drop or modify 
existing Special Recreation Management Areas, there 
would be no Special Recreation Management Areas 
designated and also no indication of the most logical 
boundary. 

Existing and proposed Special Recreation 
Management Areas were reviewed to delineate areas 
that were appropriate for concentrated recreation 
program efforts and resources. Areas such as Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern where recreational 
uses are significantly restricted were deleted, and 
areas needing intensive management of recreation uses 
were better defined. 

This review also resulted in designation of three 
Special Recreation Management Areas (Nelson 
Hills/Eldorado, Laughlin, and Vegas Valley). These 
area are remainders of two larger existing Special 
Recreation Management Areas (Clark County and 
Spring Mountains), which will be deleted. The three 
smaller Special Recreation Management Areas will 
allow for more appropriate management focus. 

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 

The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum inventory 
classes described in Chapter 3 of the Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement are used as 
management goals in several proposed decisions. 
However, the recreation opportunities and settings of 
the various Recreation Opportunity Spectrum classes 
were not included in the decision matrix. As a result 
of this omission, some decisions were based on goals 
not adopted as plan decisions. The problem was 
corrected by including the Recreation Opportunity 
Spectrum inventory findings as long-term management 
goals in the proposed plan, 



Off-Highway Vehicle Management 



2-6 



Management Objectives and Recommendations for 
managing Off -Highway Vehicle uses were scattered 
throughout the draft document in different subject 
areas. In The Plan, all management decisions are 
summarized in the recreation section. The Off- 
Highway Vehicle section addresses motorized Off- 
Road Vehicle uses, as well as non-motorized uses. 
Although many people use the terms "Off-Highway 
Vehicle" and "off-road vehicle" interchangeably, off- 
road vehicle is the legal term for motorized vehicles 
(43 CFR 8340) subject to the BLM's vehicle 
management regulations. 

Specific management direction for non-speed events 
within desert tortoise areas of critical environmental 
concern was developed with coordination of various 
user groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 



Minerals Management 

The desert tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern would be closed to mineral entry. Some 
smaller Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
within the desert tortoise Area of Critical 
Environmental Concerns would also be closed to 
mineral entry as shown on Table 2-12. 



Hazardous Materials Management 

This section was not included in any of the draft 
alternatives, but was added to The Plan based on 
public comment and BLM guidance. 



Fire Management 

This section was revised to ensure that plan 
amendments would not be required for every 
adjustment of an initial attack area. The Draft 
approach for very specific initial attack areas is more 
appropriate at the activity plan level. Under the Draft 
approach, any future changes to initial attack areas 
required a plan amendment. 

Other Changes 

General editing was done to simplify management 
objectives, reduce duplication, and improve readability 
and presentation of information. 

The Sunrise Mountain Special Recreation 
Management Area boundary was increased to match 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

the Rainbow Garden Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern that covers the same area. 

The administrative Virgin River Recreation Lands 
designation was replaced by the Virgin River Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern designation, to 
provide for more protection. 

Specific management directions previously listed 
under most Special Recreation Management Areas 
have been dropped. These directions are more 
appropropriately developed in a site-specific recreation 
area management plan to be prepared for each Special 
Recreation Management Area. 

Appendices A, B, C and D from the Draft Plan were 
incorporated into Appendix M (Standard Operating 
Procedures) of The Plan. 



Proposed Plan 

A code with 2 to 3 capital letters is used to designate 
each resource program (see list below). Objectives 
are designated by sequential numbers following the 
program code, such as AR-1. Management directions 
are identified by the objective designation followed by 
a lower case letter, such as AR-1 -a. The AR-1 -a 
management direction is linked directly to, and listed 
below, the AR-1 objective. 

Objectives and management direction for the air, soil, 
water, and riparian resources that are impacted by 
other resource programs are included in those program 
sections. To avoid redundancy, these objectives and 
management direction are not repeated within the air, 
soil, water, and riparian sections. 

Objectives and management direction denoted with an 
asterisk (*) are common to all alternatives. 



2-7 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



Codes for Each Resource 




Air Resource 


AR 


Soil Resource 


SL 


Water Resource 


WT 


Riparian 


RP 


Vegetation 


VG 


Visual Resource 


VS 


Areas of Critical Environmental Concern AC 


Fish and Wildlife Habitat 


FW 


Special Status Species 


SS 


Forestry 


FR 


Livestock Grazing 


LG 


Wild Horse and Burro 


WHB 


Cultural Resource 


CR 


Lands 


LD 


Rights-of-Way 


RW 


Acquisitions 


AQ 


Recreation 


RC 


Wild and Scenic Rivers 


SR 


Wilderness 


WS 


Minerals 


MN 


Hazardous Materials 


HZ 


Fire 


FE 



Air Resource Management 

Objective 

AR-1 - Ensure that actions occurring on BLM- 
administered lands do not violate local, state, tribal 
and Federal air quality laws, regulations, and 
standards. * 

Management Direction 

AR-l-a - Ensure that the planning process 
addresses air quality considerations by 
incorporating objectives and actions into resource 
activity plans, such as Allotment Management 
Plans, Habitat Management Plans, and Watershed 
Management Plans. Where applicable, include 
"conformity" demonstration in site-specific 
activity plans and/or National Environmental 
Policy Act documentation. 

AR-l-b - Permit only those activities on BLM- 
administered lands that are consistent with 
Federal, State, and local air quality standards and 
regulations. Require that all appropriate air 
quality permits are obtained before BLM approval 
of an action is granted.* Where applicable, 



demonstrate how proposed management actions 
comply with local, state, tribal and Federal air 
quality laws, regulations, and standards 
(Conformity; per 40 CFR 93.100 et seq). 

Soil Resource Management 

Objective : 

SL-1 - Reduce erosion and sedimentation while 
maintaining or where possible enhancing soil 
productivity through the maintenance and 
improvement of watershed conditions.* 

Management Direction : 

SL-l-a. On watersheds that exhibit good 
potential for recovery, implement protective 
measures, including but not limited to fencing and 
removal of tamarisk. 

SL-l-b. Improve watersheds that have a critical 
erosion condition and a moderate erosion 
condition to have a high erosion susceptibility 
(See Table 2-1). Give priority to those 
watersheds within the Colorado River drainage 
system*. 

SL-l-c - Maintain watersheds that have a stable 
and slight erosion condition with a low moderate 
or high susceptibility; and maintain watersheds 
that have a moderate erosion condition with a low 
or moderate erosion susceptibility (See Table 2- 
1). 



Water Resource Management 

Objectives 

WT-1. Maintain the quality of waters presently in 
compliance with State and/or Federal water quality 
standards. Improve the quality of waters found to be 
in noncompliance.* 

WT-2. Maintain or reduce salt yields originating 
from public lands to meet State-adopted and 
Environmental Protection Agency approved water 
quality standards for the Colorado River. 

Management Direction 

WT-la,2a. Using Best Management Practices as 
identified by the State of Nevada, minimize 
contributions from both point and non-point 
sources of pollution (including salts) resulting 
from public land management actions. 



1 



H 



2-8 



Table 2-1. Erosion condition and susceptibility 
management objectives. 



Condition 

ass 



Action 
itain Imr 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



RP-l-a. Complete assessments on all riparian 
areas, including development of actions necessary 
to achieve Proper Functioning Condition on all 
areas that are functioning at risk.* 



Critical 
Critical 
CritLcfj 
Moderate 
Moderate::- 
Moderate 
Slight :;- 
: Slight- 
Slight 
Stable 
Stable: ■'■'.'. 
Stable 



High 

Moderate 



Moderate 
Low 
High 
Moderate 

:I>QW : ::' 

High:;:;;;-:;:;: 
Moderate;: 



X: 



(Source 8 BLM 
1991). ""■ 



ict Office files 



Objective 

WT-3 - Ensure availability of adequate water to meet 
management objectives including the recovery and/or 
re-establishment of Special Status Species.* 

Management Direction : 

WT-3-a - Determine water needs to meet 
management objectives. File for appropriative 
water rights on public and acquired lands in 
accordance with the State of Nevada water laws 
for water sources that are not federally reserved.* 

WT-3-b - Determine instream flow requirements 
and apply for necessary water rights on the 
Virgin River and Meadow Valley Wash. 



Riparian Management 

Objective 

RP-1. Provide widest variety of vegetation and 
habitat for wildlife, fish, and watershed protection; 
ensure that all riparian areas are in proper functioning 
condition by achieving an advanced ecological status, 
except where resource management objectives require 
an earlier successional stage. Manage vegetation 
consistent with VG-1.* 

Management Direction 



RP-l-b. Improve riparian areas, giving priority 
to areas Functioning at Risk with a downward 
trend. Implement measures to protect riparian 
areas, such as fencing and/or alternate water 
sources away from the riparian area.* 

RP-l-c. Ensure that the minimum requirement of 
Proper Functioning Condition on all riparian areas 
is maintained or achieved. 

RP-l-d. Do not allow competitive off-road 
vehicle events within 0.25 mile of natural water 
sources and associated riparian areas.* 

RP-l-e. Retain riparian and mesquite woodlands 
in Federal ownership, unless their disposal is in 
the public interest. 

RP-l-f. Use integrated weed management 
techniques to control and eradicate tamarisk, such 
as burning, chemical, biological or mechanical 
treatments, where potential for treatment is good. 
Rehabilitate the area with native species to help 
reduce the potential for tamarisk re-establishment 
and improve ecosystem health. 



Vegetation Management 

Objective 

VG1 - Maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on public lands to a Desired Plant 
Community or to a Potential Natural Community (see 
Appendix N for desert tortoise habitat guidelines for 
desired plant community).* 

Management Direction : 

VGla - Manage to achieve a Desired Plant 
Community or a Potential Natural Community. 

Objective 

VG2. Restore plant productivity on disturbed areas of 

the public lands.* 

Management Direction 

VG2a. Rehabilitate, reclaim, or revegetate areas 
subjected to surface-disturbing activities, where 
feasible. When rehabilitating disturbed areas, 
manage for optimum species diversity by seeding 



2-9 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



I 



native species, except where non-native species 
are appropriate.* 



Visual Resource Management (VRM) 

Objective 

VS-1. Limit future impacts on the visual and 

aesthetic character of the public lands.* (See Map 2- 

9) 

Management Direction : 

VS-l-a. Designate 968,890 acres of public lands 
as VRM Class II and manage to retain the 
landscape's existing character. In these areas, 
authorized actions may not modify existing 
landscapes or attract the attention of casual 
viewers.* (Map 2-9) 

VS-l-b. Designate 1,727,870 acres of public 
lands as VRM Class III for partial retention of 
the existing character of the landscape. In these 
areas, authorized actions may alter the existing 
landscape, but not to the extent that they attract 
or focus attention of the casual viewer.* (Map 2- 
9) 

VS-l-c. Designate 635,135 acres of public lands 
as VRM Class IV, which allows activities 
involving major modification of the landscape's 
existing character. Authorized actions may create 
significant landscape alterations and would be 
obvious to casual viewers.* (Map 2-9) 

VS-l-d. Continue to refine the VRM inventory 
to refine the database, viewsheds, and scenic 
ratings.* 



Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 

Objectives 

AC-1. Establish areas of critical environmental 
concern specifically for management of desert tortoise 
within the Northeastern Mojave and Eastern Mojave 
recovery units identified in the Tortoise Recovery 
Plan (SS-31a)(see Table 2-2). Manage a sufficient 
quality and quantity of desert tortoise habitat, which 
in combination with tortoise habitat on other Federal, 
State and private land, will meet recovery plan 
criteria. Maintain functional corridors of habitat 
between areas of critical environmental concern to 



increase the chance of long-term persistence of desert 
tortoise populations within the recovery unit. 

AC-2. Protect areas with significant cultural, natural, 
or geological values by establishing areas of critical 
environmental concern shown in Tables 2-3 through 
2-6. 

Management Direction 

AC-la/2a. Designate areas shown in Tables 2-2 
through 2-6 and on Map 2-7 as areas of critical 
environmental concern for a total of 
approximately 1,005,031 acres. Manage each 
area based on the specific resource constraints 
identified in Tables 2-2 through 2-6. 

AC-lb/2b. Incorporate Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern on lands relinquished 
from withdrawal to other Federal agencies into 
the Area of Critical Environmental Concern. 
Also apply the management guidance, restrictions, 
and directions appropriate to areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern to the relinquished lands. 

AC-lc/2c. Manage those portions of an Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern within a 
Wilderness Study Area under the Interim 
Management Policy until such time Congress 
makes further determination on their status. For 
those areas released from wilderness 
consideration by Congress, manage under the 
appropriate Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern guidance, restrictions and directions. 



Fish, Wildlife and Special Status Species 
Management 

Fish and Wildlife 

Objectives 

FW-1. Maintain or improve approximately 869,800 
acres of current and potential bighorn sheep habitat 
toward full ecological potential. Through 
management and habitat enhancement projects, allow 
desert bighorn sheep populations to reach levels 
consistent with the carrying capacity of their habitat, 
and consistent with other BLM policy. Table 2-7 
shows the potential population estimates of bighorn 
sheep. Make adjustments to the population estimates 
as needed, based on the results of monitoring. 



2-10 






Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 2-2. Desert tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). 
ACEC Name 



Piute/Eldorado 



Acreage 



Values 



Lands 



329,440 



Coyote Springs 



75,500 



Mormon Mesa 



151,360 



Gold Butte, Part A 



186,909 



Critical tortoise habitat. 



Retain in federal ownership. Designate as ROW avoidance area except within 
corridors. 



5J 



Close to locatable minerals and solid leasables. Open to fluid mineral leasing subject 
to no surface occupancy stipulations. Allow material site ROW only within 1/2 mile of 
the centerline of Federal Aid Highways. Designate as a site type ROW exclusion area 
except within 1/2 mile of either side of Federal Aid Highways. Allow FUP only within 
1/2 mile of the centerline of federal and state highways and specified county roads. 
Issue FUP to governmental entities only. 



Close to livestock grazing. Manage for zero wild horses and burros. 



Require reclamation of temporary roads. Authorize new roads in response to specific 
proposed actions where no feasible alternative exists. Ensure access to private property. 



OHV/OIiV 
Designation 
and 
Recreation 



Do not allow commercial collection of flora. Only allow commercial collection of fauna 
upon completion of a scientifically credible study that demonstrates commercial 
collection does not adversely impact affected species or their habitat. This action will 
not affect hunting, trapping or casual collection as permitted by the State. 



Designate as "Limited to designated roads and trails" for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles. Prohibit ORV speed events, mountain bike races, horse endurance rides, 
4WD hill climbs, mini events, publicity rides, high speed testing and similar speed 
based events. Commercial activities may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if 
consistent with the recovery of the desert tortoise. 

Allow non-speed events subject to: 1) Recreation Use Permits shall be required for 
events with more than 25 vehicles; 2) Events with more than 100 vehicles must be held 
during the tortoise inactive season (11/1 to 2/28(29). There will be a cap of no more 
than 300 motorcycles or 300 four-wheeled vehicles on any event with the exception 
: that if an alternative route is not found for the Barstow to Las Vegas, the number of 
entrants permitted in Nevada will be consistent with that permitted by California. 3) 
No off-highway vehicle events will be permitted from 4/1 to 6/1 and from 8/15 to 
10/15 (dates will vary slightly annually to provide a full weekend if 4/1 falls during the 
weekend and to provide three full weekends prior to (or including) 11/1); 4) A 
maximum of 10 permitted non-speed events will be allowed annually during the 
tortoise active season (3/1 to 10/31) with no more than 3 events per ACEC, with the 
exception that an event based on historic use patterns will be allowed from Mesquite 
through the Mormon Mesa ACEC. This event may have 200 entrants, will count as 2 
of the 3 events held annually and is limited to a one way route (north-south or south- 
north); 5) A maximum of 12 permitted non-speed events will be allowed annually 
during the tortoise inactive season with no more than 4 events per ACEC; 6) Vehicles 
shall not exceed the legal speed limit (posted or unposted) of the road(s) used during 
the event. Clark County speed limit for unposted roads is 25 MPH. 



2-11 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 2-3. Archaeological and cultural 


resources ACECs (not shared with other ACECs). 




ACEC Name 


Stump Spring 


Sloan 

Rock Art 

District 


Hidden 
Valley 


Keyhole 
Canyon 


Bird 

Spring 
*** 


Arden 

Historic 

Sites 


Crescent 
Townsite 


Acreage 


641 


320 


3,360 


361 


161 


1,480 


437 


; -Values .-■■■'■■:■ 


Prehistoric 
camp and 
historic trail/ 
camp). 


Prehistoric habitation and rock art. 


Historic railroad 
construction, and 
mining. 


.............. 

j : :■;.■. 

'j/i 

•y.-y*^>/.-y. •:•:■.• 
- ■:«:■:: 

"1- : ; 

.-.".& :-.-;■:-:•:-: 

&■:■:<■:-■:■■:■: 

C 
.&" 

WMg 

■ ■ O : 

; - ; : ; : O ' 

'•:-x^»:v:-:-:-> 


Lands 


ROW exclusion. 

Retain in federal ownership. Designate as ROW avoidance areas. Close to mineral 
material ROWs. 


Minerals 


Close to locatable minerals, salables and solid leasables. Open to fluid minerals 
subject to no surface occupancy stipulations. 


Ranee 


Manage consistent with the surrounding allotment and herd management area, if 
applicable. 


Roads 


Require reclamation of temporary roads. Authorize new roads in response to specific 
authorized actions only, ensure access to private property. 


OHV/ORV 

|>esignations. 
Recreation 


Limited designation, consistent with OHV designations of surrounding areas, except 
for Hidden Valley which is closed to OHV. 


Key: 

***Within Red Rock Canyon NCA expansion; acreage not included in total ACEC calucations in plan. 

Already withdrawn from mineral entry under the Red Rock legislation. 






r 

13 



2-12 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Table 2-4. Archaeological and cultural resources ACECs and a Natural ACEC (shared with Gold Butte 
ACEC). 





lis : = 


Gold Butte ACEC, Part B 


Gold Butte ACEC, Part A 


: ACEC Name 


Gold Butte ACEC, Part B 


Gold 

Butte 

Townsites 


Red Rock 
Spring 


Whitney 
Pocket 


Devil's 
Throat 


Acreage 


119,097* 


***160 


**640 


**160 


**640 


Values 


Cultural resources, scenic, 
wildlife habitat, 
sensitive species. 


Historic 
mining 


Prehistoric habitation 
and rock art. 


Natural 

hazard 

area. 


:;;; : 


Lands 


Retain in federal ownership. 
Designate as ROW avoidance 
area. 


Retain in federal ownership. Designate as ROW 
avoidance area. 


v: : r-<:;:;:;; : : 
<*> 

mmrn 
© - 

■■■■■«:■ : : 

B 

J 

:-■■# .■:.; 


Minerals 

" :;£.:;■.;.: 

-■ : :■::.'■■. ; ■ 


Close to locatable minerals, 
salables and solid leasables. 
Open to fluid minerals subject 
to timing and special use 
constraints. 


Close to locatable minerals, salables and solid 
leasables. Open to fluid minerals subject to no 
surface occupancy stipulations. Close to mineral 
material ROWs. 


Range 


Close to grazing. Manage wild 
burros at AML = 98. 


Manage consistent with the surrounding allotment 
and herd management area, if applicable. 


|i||||l|:|||| 


Require reclamation of temporary roads. Authorize new roads in response to specific 
authorized actions only, ensure access to private property. 


OHV/ORV 

Designations, 

Recreation 


Limited to existing roads and trails. Do not 
allow speed ORV events. Other events 
allowed on case-by-case basis. 


Limited designation; consistent with 
OHV designations of surrounding 
areas. 




Key: 

^Includes 160 acres of Gold Butte Townsite; excludes Bureau of Reclamation withdrawn land 
**Within Gold Butte ACEC Part A, acreage not included in totals calculations in plan. 
**Within Gold Butte ACEC Part B; acreage not included in totals calculations in plan. 



2-13 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Table 2-5. Special wildlife and riparian ACECs. 



WMMiMM§M§mi 


Amargosa 
Mesquite 


Gold Butte ACEC 

PartC* 
(Virgin Mountains) 


Big Dune 


Ash Meadows 


WM/ : {)^:- : ^-M^W^. 


6,891 


38,431 


1,920 


37,152 


M1M"mS&MWMM 


Neotropical bird 


Wildlife habitat; 


Special Status species habitat. 




habitat. 


scenic and 
botanical. 








■ ; ,. .':^'-':':^ : :::.:'' : > : v : : : .'' :: 


Retain in federal ownership. Designate as an ROW avoidance area except within 






corridors. Close to mineral material ROWs. 










(and) 


(and) 


SSgkBSS; 






Designate as 


Acquire private land 


1:P1I 






ROW 


on a willing seller 


: 

;i'::.:;«S .■: 

:■:;; v:v: 

i:'::¥<&::::::::; 

lilt 






exclusion area. 


basis. 


|||i|esallll||| 


Close to locatable minerals, salables and solid leasables. 


Fluid 


Allow fluid mineral leasing, subject to 


Allow fluid 


Close to geothermal 




:. ' 


Timing and Surface Use Constraint 


mineral 


prospecting and 


•'■'•'••:•.•::■:'•:':■..■.■.'.. ■■': :: :: 


special stipulations 


leasing subject 


leasing, including 






to no surface 


BLM lands inside the 








occupancy 


Ash Meadows NWR 








stipulations. 




■/' ; : ^:-;; K r: : v::;-: : :; : :;:v : '?: : ' 


Open to livestock 


Close to livestock 


N/A 


Close to livestock 






grazing. AML for 


grazing. N/A for 




grazing. AML for 






wild horses and 


wild horses and 




wild horses = zero. 






burros = zero. 


burros. 






SglilSllli; 


Require reclamation of temporary roads. Authorize new roac 


Is in response to specific 







authorized actions only, ensure access to private property. 




'■ ; ; iiii;lll: 


Designate as limited to existing roads 


Designate 10- 


Outside the Refuge 




: 


and trails. No competitive ORV events. 


15% as closed 


boundary - Limit to 




'...'■■. ; '. : ::':;".'' 




to OHV; 


existing roads and 








designate 85- 


trails; within the 








90% as open 


Refuge boundary - 








to OHV; no 


limited, designated 








competitive 


roads and trails. No 








ORV events. 


competitive OHV 










events. 


Key 


*Originally called Virgin Mountain ACEC, it was combined 


with the Gold Butte 






ACEC to form one contiguous ACEC. 





■ 



Is; 



1 



2-14 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 2-6. Combination values ACECs 










Arrow Canyon 


Rainbow Gardens 


River 
Mountains 


Virgin River 


Acreage 


2,084 


37,620 


5,617 


6,411 


Values 


Paleontological 
(Miocene bird tracks); 
Geological (candidate 
for the mid- 
carboniferous boundary 
stratotype section); 
cultural (prehistoric rock 
art). 


Geological; 
scientific; scenic; 
cultural (320 
acres)); sensitive 
plants. 


Bighorn sheep 
habitat; scenic 
viewshed for 
Henderson and 
Boulder City. 


T&E; riparian 
habitat; cultural 
resources 
(5,000 acres 
only).. 




Lands 


Retain in federal ownership. Designate as ROW avoidance area except within 
corridors. Close to mineral material ROWs. 


& : : 

: : ; : :Tf3" ::,: : : : : .- 

mmm 

±3 

■■:■:■ w 

:■:■:■: gj:-M::: 

a 






(and) 
Acquire private 
land w/riparian 
or aquatic 
habitat on a 
willing seller 
basis. 


Minerals 


Close to beatable minerals, salables and solid leasables. Open to fluid minerals 
subject to no surface occupancy stipulations. 


Range 


Manage consistent with 
the surrounding 
allotment and herd 
management area, if 
applicable. 


Close to livestock 
grazing. N/A for 
wild horses and 
burros. 


N/A 


Close to 
livestock 
grazing. N/A 
for wild horses 
and burros. 


Roads 

OHV/ORV 


Require reclamation of temporary roads. Authorize new roads in response to specific 
authorized actions only, ensure access to private property. 


Limited designation 
consistent with OHV 
designations of 
surrounding areas. 


Designate as 
limited to 
designated roads 
and trails. No 
speed based 
vehicle events. 


Designate as limited to existing 
roads and trails. No speed based 
vehicle events. 



2-15 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



Table 2-7. Bighorn sheep Habitat Management Areas. 



Habitat Management Area 


Potential population 


Source of Potential Population 


Arrow Canyon Range 


391-431 


MAD HMP 


South. Spring/Bird Spring Range: 


150-200 


Draft S.. Spring HMP -.- 


McCullough Mountains 


734 


v Range wide 


Plan 






Highland Range 


70-105 


Highland HMP ■ 


: Eldorado Mountains 


400-45{L: 


: : census data : "v 


Muddy Mountains 


500^550 '■■:- 


census data : : ; 


Newberry Mountains : 


169 : 


Rangewide Plan ; 


River Mountains 


230-260 


census data 


Virgin Mountains 


^x.^mmrntmm&^y; 


Draft Virgin/Gold Butte. HMP 


New York/Castle Peak 


mm^s&Mm^^ 


Rangewide Plan : : 


::.:'Gold;Bttt^::: : ?::/: : ':^ : ^^ : ':-:v : : : .- 


:::; 228-252 


Draft Virgin/Gold Butte HMP 


Last Chance Range :;:: : 


129-157: r:- 


Southern: Nye HMP ■ 


Specter Range 


116-142- - 


Southern- Nye HMP 


Bare Mountains 


86-105 


Southern : Nye HMP- 



lotai 



3,470-3,84< 



(Source: Rangewide Plan for Managing Bighorn Sheep, on Public hands USD!,: BLM 1988, habitat 
management plans and current population levels. Numbers were not provided by NDGW.) 



Management Direction 

FW-l-a. Maintain and improve bighorn sheep 
habitat by maintaining existing water 
developments, constructing additional water 
developments, and protecting/improving springs, 
seeps and riparian habitat, consistent with BLM 
policy for management of wilderness study areas, 
in the following areas: 

• Arrow Canyon/Elbow Range 

• South Spring/Bird Spring Range 

• Gold Butte/Virgin Mountains 

• Muddy Mountains 

• Spring Range 

• Eldorado/Newberry Range 

• Specter Range/Last Chance Range/Bare 
Mountains McCullough Range/Highland 
Range/Crescent Peak. 

Limit competition between bighorn, livestock, and 
wild horses and burros around spring sources by 
providing separate water sources for each type of 
user. When possible, provide water at the source 
for wildlife. If new data indicate that 
improvements are needed in other areas, do not 
limit activities to the areas listed above. 



FW-l-b. Evaluate discretionary activities 
proposed in bighorn sheep habitat and on a case- 
by-case basis. Grant authorization if the proposed 
actions are consistent with goals and objectives of 
the Rangewide Plan for Managing Desert 
Bighorn Sheep Habitat on Public Lands (U.S. 
Dept. of Interior, BLM 1988) and other 
applicable policies. 

Objective 

FW-2. Re-establish native fauna (including 
naturalized species) to historic habitat and improve 
population numbers in current use areas. 

Management Direction 

FW-2-a. Cooperate with State and Federal wildlife 
agencies in implementing introductions, 
reintroduction, and augmentation releases of native 
and/or naturalized species (such as desert bighorn 
sheep, and chukar). 

FW-2-b. Design new waters for livestock and 
wild horses and burros to reduce potential 
conflicts with bighorn sheep and other wildlife, 
consistent with BLM policy for management of 
wilderness study areas. 



2-16 



FW-2-c. Animal damage control activities may 
be allowed on a temporary basis if necessary for 
successful re-establishment of native species or to 
allow for recovery of decimated populations. 

Objective 

FW-3. Support viable and diverse native wildlife 
populations by providing and maintaining sufficient 
quality and quantity of food, water, cover, and space 
to satisfy needs of wildlife species using habitats on 
public land. 

Management Direction 

FW-3-a. Manage mesquite and acacia woodlands 
for their value as wildlife habitat in the following 
areas: Amargosa Valley, Meadow Valley Wash, 
Moapa Valley, Pahrump Valley, Stewart Valley, 
Hiko Wash, Piute Wash, Crystal and Stump 
Springs, or any other areas identified as being of 
significant wildlife value. 

FW-3-b. Allow harvesting of green or dead and 
down Mesquite by permit only and in those areas 
identified in FW-3 -a, where consistent with 
sustaining plant communities in a healthy and 
vigorous state and also consistent with sustaining 
viable wildlife populations. 

FW-3-c. Manage habitat to support elk that 
move onto BLM-managed lands from U.S. Forest 
Service lands in the Spring Mountains. 
Determine needed adjustments to population 
levels through monitoring in cooperation with the 
U.S. Forest Service and Nevada Division of 
Wildlife. 

FW-3-d. Allow construction and maintenance of 
additional upland game guzzlers, as needed, 
consistent with BLM policy, including placement 
in wilderness study areas. 

FW-3-e. Protect artificial and natural waters that 
provide benefit to wildlife by providing a 
minimum buffer of 0.25 mile for permitted 
activities (such as for off -road vehicle events). 

FW-3-f. Protect key nesting areas, migration 
routes, important prey base areas, and 
concentration areas for birds of prey on public 
lands by mitigating activities during National 
Environmental Policy Act compliance. 

FW-3-g. Protect important resting/nesting 
habitat, such as riparian areas and mesquite/acacia 
woodlands. Do not allow projects that may 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

adversely impact the water table supporting these 
plant communities. 

FW-3-h. Improve disturbed non-game bird 
habitat, including the water table supporting these 
habitats, by emphasizing maintenance and 
enhancement of natural biodiversity. 



Special Status Species 

Special Status Species include all plant and animal 
species that are Federally listed as "threatened or 
endangered" under the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended, Candidate species under the 
Endangered Species Act, State listed species, or 
species otherwise identified by the BLM State 
Director. 

Objective 

SS-1. Manage special status species habitat at the 
potential natural community or desired plant 
community, according to the need of the species. 

Management Direction 

SS-1 -a. Improve approximately 400 acres of 
aquatic and riparian habitat on the Virgin River, 
Muddy River, and Meadow Valley Wash from its 
existing poor-to-fair condition to good-or-better 
condition by replacing Tamarix with native 
species. 

SS-l-b. Maintain or improve approximately 
37,152 acres of spring, wet meadow, and desert 
habitats in Ash Meadows Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern to potential natural 
community or desired plant community. 

Objective 

SS-2. Manage habitat to further sustain the 
populations of Federally listed species so they would 
no longer need protection of the Endangered Species 
Act. Manage habitats for non-listed special status 
species to support viable populations so that future 
listing would not be necessary. 

Management Direction 

SS-2-a. Enter into conservation agreements with 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State 
of Nevada that, if implemented, could reduce the 
necessity of future listings of the species in 
question. Conservation agreements may include, 
but not be limited to, the following: Blue 
Diamond cholla, Las Vegas bearpoppy, white- 
margined penstemon, and Phainopepla. 



2-17 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



SS-2-b. Manage public lands adjacent to the Ash 
Meadows Area of critical environmental concern 
and the Moapa National Wildlife Refuge to 
complement spring and aquatic habitat for special 
status species, including projects that may affect 
ground water levels or spring flows. 

SS-2-c. Maintain approximately 1,920 acres of 
sand dune habitat on Big Dune in a natural 
condition to support all species dependent upon 
dune habitat, with emphasis on special status 
species. 

Objective 

SS-3. Manage desert tortoise habitat to achieve the 
recovery criteria defined in the Tortoise Recovery 
Plan (USFWS 1994) and ultimately to achieve 
delisting of the desert tortoise. When the population 
in a recovery unit meets the following criteria it may 
be considered recovered and eligible for delisting (for 
complete criteria see the Tortoise Recovery Plan). 

Criterion 1 : As determined by a scientifically 
credible monitoring plan, the population within a 
recovery unit must exhibit a statistically 
significant upward trend or remain stationary for 
at least 25 years (one tortoise generation). 

Criterion 2 : Enough habitat must be protected 
within a recovery unit, or the habitat and desert 
tortoise populations must be managed intensively 
enough, to ensure long-term population viability. 
At least one area of critical environmental 
concern (Desert Wildlife Management Area) must 
be established in each recovery unit that is, 
except under unusual circumstances, at least 
1,000 square miles in area. 

Although the Tortoise Recovery Plan 
recommends establishment of at least one desert 
wildlife management area of 1,000 square miles 
in each recovery unit, it is not possible to achieve 
this on public lands in Nevada. The minimally 
acceptable situation identified in the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan is to establish several smaller 
desert wildlife management areas that are 
connected by corridors of functional tortoise 
habitat. This is the situation in both the 
Northeastern Mojave and Eastern Mojave 
Recovery Units. 

In the Northeastern Mojave Recovery Unit, 
approximately 1,780 square miles of desert 
tortoise habitat are proposed to be managed for 



recovery of the desert tortoise. This area includes 
lands managed by the BLM, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in 
Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Approximately 648 
square miles of these lands are managed by the 
Las Vegas BLM Field Office. In the Eastern 
Mojave Recovery Unit, the 514 square miles 
proposed for designation as an area of critical 
environmental concern in the Las Vegas District 
would be combined with additional tortoise 
habitat in Lake Mead National Recreation Area 
and in California to meet recovery criteria. 



Criterion 3 : Provisions must be made for 
population management at each area of 
environmental concern (Desert Wildlife 
Management Area) so that discrete population 
growth rates (lambdas) are maintained at or above 
1.0. A lambda of 1.0 indicates a stable or 
increasing population. 



Criterion 4 : Regulatory mechanisms or land 
management commitments have been 
implemented that provide for adequate long-term 
protection of desert tortoises and then habitat. 
Delisting would be followed by a loss of 
protection under the Endangered Species Act; 
therefore, adequate protection through alternative 
means is essential before delisting can occur. 
Reasonable assurance must exist that conditions 
which brought about population stability will be 
maintained, or as necessary, improved during the 
foreseeable future. 

Criterion 5 : The population in the recovery unit 
is unlikely to need protection under the 
Endangered Species Act in the foreseeable future. 



Management Direction 

SS-3-a. Manage 743,209 acres of the four desert 
tortoise areas of critical environmental concern 
specifically for desert tortoise recovery (Map 2- 
7). Implement the management actions listed 
below, and on Table 2-2, in these areas of critical 
environmental concern: 

a. Minimize impacts to tortoise habitat during 
fire suppression by minimizing the use of 
mechanized equipment and, where possible, 
staying on existing roads and trails. However, 



2-18 



give priority to keeping the wildfire to an 
absolute minimum. 

b. Manage wild horses and burros for zero 
appropriate management level within desert 
tortoise areas of critical environmental 
concern. 



c. 



Implement inventory, monitoring, and research 
projects dealing with management issues 
within desert tortoise areas of critical 
environmental concern. 



d. Limit utility corridors to 3,000 feet or less in 
width. 

e. Do not allow new landfills. 



f. 



Do not authorize military maneuvers. 



g. Allow development of campgrounds only if 
consistent with the objectives of the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan. 

h. On a case-by-case basis, support fencing of 
highways and moderately-to-heavily traveled 
dirt roads with tortoise-proof fencing and 
installation of culverts to allow tortoises to 
cross under the highway and roads. 

i. Require reclamation of disturbed lands 
resulting from activities that result in loss or 
degradation of tortoise habitat with habitat to 
be reclaimed so that pre-disturbance condition 
can be reached within a reasonable time 
frame. Reclamation may include salvage and 
transplant of cactus and yucca, recontouring of 
the area, scarification of compacted soil, soil 
amendments, seeding, and transplant of 
seedling shrubs. Subsequent seeding or 
transplanting efforts may be required, if 
monitoring indicates that the original effort 
was not successful. 

j. Commercial activities may be permitted, on a 
case-by-case basis, if not in conflict with 
recovery of the desert tortoise. 

k. Designate as "limited to designated roads and 
trails" for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles. 

1. Allow non-speed off-highway vehicle events 
subject to restrictions identified in RC-ll-f. 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

m. Prohibit off -road vehicle speed events, 
mountain bike races, horse endurance rides, 
4-wheel drive hill climbs, mini events, 
publicity rides, high speed testing, and 
similar speed-based events. 

n. Do not allow commercial collection of flora. 
Only allow commercial collection of fauna 
upon completion of a scientifically credible 
study that demonstrates commercial 
collection of fauna does not adversely impact 
affected species or their habitat. This action 
will not affect hunting or trapping and casual 
collection as permitted by the State. 

o. In accordance with the BLM/Clark County 
Interlocal Agreement approved July 1, 1997, 
BLM will regulate and manage organized 
recreational activities on County RS2477 
roads in accordance with 43 CFR, subpart 
8372. 

p. Campers may pull their vehicles off the edge 
of the road but must stay within 15 feet of 
the edge of the road, except in Wilderness 
Study Areas where the vehicle must remain 
within the berm of the road. 

Objective 

SS-4. Encourage the obtainment and dissemination of 
knowledge regarding the Mojave Desert ecosystem 
including desert tortoise biology. 

Management Direction : 

SS-4-a. Manage the Desert Tortoise 
Conservation Center Management Area (11,014 
acres) to support desert tortoise research and 
other research associated with the Mojave Desert 
Ecosystem. When feasible, expand the function 
of the center to include an environmental 
education/awareness program in close 
coordination with other Federal agencies and 
State and local governments. 

SS-4-b. If and when funding is available, expand 
the existing facilities at the Desert Tortoise 
Conservation Center Management Area as 
necessary to accommodate future research and 
educational needs. 



2-19 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



Forestry Management 

Objectives 

FR-1. Maintain woodland and conifer forest where 
possible for all-aged stands, with an understory 
vegetation forage value rating at moderate or better. 

Management Direction 

FR-l-a. Firewood cutting and gathering is 
limited to approved areas subject to restrictions 
developed for protection of Threatened, 
Endangered and Sensitive species and other 
sensitive resources. 

FR-l-b. Allow harvest of dead and/or down 
wood or BLM-marked green mesquite "trees" for 
dwarf mistletoe control only in approved areas. 

Objective 

FR-2. Limit collection or sale of desert vegetation 
and other vegetative resources for public use to 
approved areas including disposal areas, rights-of-way, 
and gravel pits. 

Management Direction 

FR-2-a. Assess the potential for salvage and/or 
harvest of desert vegetation at locations where 
surface-disturbing activities are authorized. 



Table 2-8. Kind of livestock 

Horses & Cattle 

Flat Top Mesa 
Lower Mormon Mesa 
Mesa Cliff 



Cattle 

Arrow: Canyon 

Jean Lake 

Hidden Valley 

Mt, Stirling 

Roach Lake 

WheeWWash 

White Basin 



Livestock Grazing Management 

Objective 

LG-1. Provide for continued grazing of domestic 

livestock on public lands, consistent with law, 

regulation, established standards and guidelines and 

policy on areas open to livestock grazing (see Map 2- 

8). 



Management Direction 

LG-l-a. Manage the range resource consistent 
with the phenological and physiological 
requirements of key peremiial species. 

LG-l-b. Livestock grazing on all ephemeral 
allotments will be permitted if on-the-ground 
evaluations determine that forage is available, and 
use is consistent with the Standards and 
Guidelines and allotment specific objectives. 

LG-l-c. Provide for increased plant vigor and 
reproductive capability of perennial forage on the 
open allotments through livestock grazing 
management. 

LG-l-e. Maintain static trend or achieve upward 
trend of key perennial forage species through 
livestock grazing management. 

LG-l-e. Salt and mineral supplement will be 
placed a minimum of one mile from water. 

LG-l-f. Manage grazing allotments outside the 
desert tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern consistent with grazing Prescription 2 as 
identified in Biological Opinion File No.: 1-5-91- 
F-36 as amended: Livestock use may occur on 
open allotments in desert tortoise habitat outside 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern/Desert 
Wildlife Management Areas from March 1 to 
October 14, as long as forage utilization does not 
exceed 40 percent on key perennial grasses, forbs, 
and shrubs. Between October 15 and February 
28, forage utilization will not exceed 50 percent 
on key perennial grasses and 45 percent on key 
shrubs and perennial forbs. 

The BLM will reinitiate formal consultation on a 
case-by-case basis if any change is identified to 
Prescription 2 in an allotment grazing system. 

LG-l-g. Close all allotments to livestock grazing 
within the planning unit, with the following 
exceptions: Hidden Valley, Mount Stirling, Lower 
Mormon Mesa, Roach Lake, White Basin, 
Muddy River, Wheeler Wash, Mesa Cliff, Arrow 
Canyon in Battleship Wash, Flat Top Mesa, Jean 
Lake, and Arizona administered allotments (see 
Map 2-8 for locations and boundaries). That 
portion of the Jean Lake allotment within the 
desert tortoise Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern would be closed to grazing. Close all 



2-20 



MiMH^RHHHMaBBHa 



~-~-^^^^mn^mM^^mnmiMiMmKwmtmMi****n>qma^Haa^n^'~ d ■ . - 1, -■' " 



land disposal areas to livestock grazing (See Map 
2-3). 

LG-l-h. Designate allotments that currently have 
an existing closure as permanently closed. 
Designate all unallotted areas within southern Nye 
County as permanently closed to livestock 
grazing. 

LG-l-i. Additional allotment closures could be 
approved based on voluntary relinquishment of 
grazing privileges, permits, or leases. 

LG-l-j. The type of livestock that will be 
authorized on each allotment is identified in Table 
2-8. Changes to the type of livestock may be 
made following site-specific environmental 
analysis. 

Objective 

LG-2. Establish grazing management systems 
including rest rotation, deferred rest rotation, or other 
management approaches as needed to meet specific 
resource management objectives. 

Management Direction 

LG-2-a. Include water availability for all uses as 
part of any grazing system, considering riparian 
areas, livestock, wildlife, wild horses and burros. 

LG-2-b. Develop range improvements, as 
needed, to reach more uniform distribution of 
livestock consistent with management objectives. 

LG-2-c. Incorporate Standards and Guidelines 
into all livestock use authorizations, grazing 
systems, and management plans to ensure 
rangeland health improved or maintained (see 
Appendix L). 

Objective 

LG-3. Manage allotments open to grazing using the 
"selective management" approach (see Map 2-8 and 
LG-3 -a for open allotments). 

Management Direction 

LG-3-a. Drop existing categories from 
allotments closed to livestock grazing. Other 
direction: 

• Arrow Canyon and White Basin will remain 
"M." 

• Hidden Valley, Jean Lake, Wheeler Wash, and 
Mount Stirling will remain "I." 

• Mesa Cliff, Muddy River and Roach Lake will 
remain "C." 



Chapter 2- Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

• Change Lower Mormon Mesa from "C" to "I.' 

• Change Flat Top Mesa from "C" to "M". 

• The category for the three allotments 
administered by Arizona will not be changed. 



Wild Horse and Burro Management 

Objectives 

WHB-1. In Herd Management Areas not constrained 
by desert tortoise restrictions (see Maps 2-1 and 2-7), 
manage for healthy, genetically viable herds of wild 
horses and/or burros in a natural, thriving ecological 
balance with other rangeland uses (see Table 2-9). 

Management Direction 

WHB-l-a. Establish Appropriate Management 
Levels within Herd Management Areas (see 
Table 2-9). 

WHB-l-b. Adjust the Appropriate 
Management Level identified for each Herd 
Management Area when monitoring determines 
the animal population, forage, water, riparian, 
and other ecosystem management objectives are 
not being met. 

WHB-l-c. Limit utilization of current year's 
production by all herbivores on key perennial 
forage species within Herd Management Areas to 
50 percent for grasses and 45 percent for shrubs 
and forbs. 

WHB-l-d. Develop and maintain dependable 
water sources, consistent with BLM policy for 
wilderness management, to allow more even 
distribution of horses and burros throughout the 
Herd Management Areas. 

WHB-l-e. Use by wild horses and burros will 
not be allowed in that portion of the Gold Butte 
Herd Management Area that overlaps with the 
desert tortoise Gold Butte Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern (Gold Butte Part A). 

WHB-l-f. No new wild horse or burro ranges 
will be recommended for approval by the 
Director. 

Objective 

WHB-2. Maintain the wild, free-roaming character of 

the wild horses and burros on the public lands. 



2-21 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/EIS - May 1998 



Table 2-9. Wild horse and burro Herd 
Management Areas. 

HMA 



Eldorado 


75 burros 




Gold Butte 


600 burros 


98.- burros 


Muddy Mountains 


29 horses 


horses 




110 burros 


50 burros 


Red Rocks ■' 


50 horses 


50 horses 




130 burros 


50 burros 


Johnnie :;:::: : 


1:25 horses 


:: ; 50 horses 




300 burros 


75 burros 


Amargosa; ; 





; . 


Ash Meadows* 







Key- 



removed as soon as possible. 

WHB-2-e. Wild horses and burros will be 
scheduled for removal as expeditiously as possible 
from fenced private lands within the planning area, 
after a request is made by the private landowner 
and reasonable efforts to restrict the animals from 
private property have failed. 

WHB-2-f. Wild horses and burros will be 
removed when animals are residing on lands 
outside the Herd Management Area or when the 
Appropriate Management Level is exceeded. 

WHB-2-g. Construct underpasses or other 
structures within highway rights-of-way to allow 
safe passage of wild horses and burros. 
Appropriate locations will be determined by BLM 
and the Nevada Department of Transportation in 
coordination with affected interests. 



ii 



Management Direction 

WHB-2-a. To facilitate management consistent 
with distinct population units, realign the 
following Herd Management Areas (see Map 2-1): 

• Red Rocks Herd Management Area (formerly 
part of Spring Mountains Herd Management 
Area). 

• Wheeler Pass Herd Management Area (formerly 
part of Spring Mountains Herd Management 
Area). 

• Johnnie Herd Management Area (formerly Last 
Chance and Mt. Stirling Herd Management 
Areas). 

WHB-2-b. Adopt Herd Management Area 
boundaries to existing 1971 locations; this will 
increase the size of some Herd Management Areas 
but will not decrease any in size (see Map 2-1). 

WHB-2-c. Develop/maintain memorandums of 
understanding for coordinated herd management 
with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest 
Service where Herd Management Areas extend 
across administrative boundaries. 

WHB-2-d. Wild horses and burros that become 
problem animals or traffic hazards on Nevada 
State Routes 159 + 160 or in urban areas will be 



Cultural Resource Management 

Objective 

CR1. Identify and protect cultural and 
paleontological resources in conformance with 
applicable legislation and BLM policy. 

Management Direction 

The following management directions are based on a 
variety of attributes for those kinds of sites discussed 
in Table 2-10. The attributes include the potential for 
the extraction or preservation of scientific data, site 
integrity, the isolated nature of certain properties, and 
an assessed potential for impacts from recreational 
activities. Each site type possesses one or more uses 
with applicable prescriptions for management 
according to that displayed in Table 2-10. 

CR-la. Manage the following for information 
potential: roasting pit, camp/open lithic scatter, 
rock feature, and historic trash scatter site types. 
These kinds of sites should be subject to the 
following direction: 

CR-la-1. Utilize data recovery efforts through 
research designs to attempt to mitigate adverse 
effects to cultural resources and paleontological 
sites from proposed Federal actions. 

CR-la-2. Study known cultural and 
paleontological sites not expected to incur impacts 
from Federal actions as a result of using proactive 



2-22 



research designs. The designs may be initiated by 
BLM or independent researchers subject to the 
concurrence of BLM and the State Historic 
Preservation Office. 

CR-l-a3. Representative samples of each site type 
will be preserved for conservation purposes. 

CR-l-a4. Manage cultural resources on 1,500 
acres of public lands within the Virgin River 
Anasazi prehistoric district for the potential to 
yield scientific or historic information. 

CR-l-b. Manage the following for conservation 
potential: rockshelter, rock art locale, prehistoric and 
historic remains, mining sites, and historic road/trail 
site types, which are located in areas that do not 
receive intensive recreational uses. These kinds of 
sites should be subjected to the following direction: 

CR-l-bl. Manage cultural resources on 11,759 
acres of public lands at Red Rock Spring and 
Stump Springs, the Hidden Valley district, the Sloan 
rock art site, the Arden Historic Sites, the Crescent 
and Gold Butte mining town sites, and the South 
Virgin Peak Ridge District for conservation of their 
overriding scientific or historic importance. 

CR-l-b2. Release cultural resource sites designed 
for "management for conservation" only after 
development of a memorandum of agreement 
between BLM, the State Historic Preservation 
Office, and the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation. This document would detail efforts to 
conduct intensive documentation or retrieve the 
physical remains of the property. 

CR-l-b3. Manage paleontological resources on 40 
acres of public lands within the Arrow Canyon Bird 
Track paleontological site for conservation of its 
overriding scientific or historic importance. 

CR-l-b4. Release paleontological sites designated 
for "management for conservation" uses only after 
the development of a research design approved by 
BLM to remove the specimens, create casts of the 
objects, and provide interpretive exhibits. 

CR-l-c. Manage the following for public uses: 
rockshelter, rock art locale, prehistoric and historic 
structural remains, mining sites, and historic 
road/trail site types located in areas that have 
sustained, or are projected to receive, intensive 
recreational uses. 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

CR-l-cl. Manage cultural resources on 3,660 acres 
of public lands within the Arrow Canyon Rock Art 
District, Keyhole Canyon, Frenchman Mine, and 
Gypsum Cave areas for public values that include 
sociocultural, educational, and recreational uses. 

CR-l-c2. Develop programs that use 
surveillance to monitor resources with public value 
uses. Where analysis of monitoring results indicates 
a need for further protection, construct or install 
physical barriers, as appropriate. 

CR-l-d. Manage cultural resources on 
approximately 200,000 acres of Traditional Lifeway 
Areas within the Las Vegas BLM District for then- 
sociological values by providing for their protection 
and preservation (see Map 2-2). 

This direction would primarily be accomplished by 
inviting Native American Traditional cultural groups 
to provide information to BLM concerning 
sensitivity of cultural values on Federal lands in 
Traditional Lifeway Areas. These lands are not 
available for disposal. 

CR-l-e. Selected cultural resources should be 
designated as priorities for activity planning and 
determining best use potential. These include 
historic remains in Gold Butte, Crescent, 
Goodsprings, and Searchlight mining districts, as 
well as the Hidden Valley Archeological District in 
the Muddy Mountains. There are also special 
cultural resource considerations that may affect the 
location, timing, or method of development or use 
of other resources in the planning area. These 
resources include plants or animals essential to 
maintaining cultural integrity of a Traditional 
Lifeway Area. 



Lands Management 

Obiective 

Land Disposal Areas: 

LD-1. Approximately 175,314 acres of public lands 

within the disposal areas identified on Map 2-3 are 

potentially available for disposal through sale, exchange, 

or Recreation and Public Purpose patent to provide for 

the orderly expansion and development of southern 

Nevada. 



2-23 



I 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Table 2-10. Management direction for archaeological site types and cultural resources in LVD. 



Site Type 

Prehistoric 

Rocksbelter 1 

Rockshelter 
Roekshelter 3 . ■■ 

Roasting pit" 

Camp/lithic scatter 4 

Rock feature 4 



Struct 



Rock art 2 

Rock art 3 

Historic 

Structural remains' 
Structural remains' 
Structural remains' 



Management Use 




Information 
Conservation::;: ■;■: ; 
Public XJSCS: : : : 


: Data recovery plan : : 
Monitoring/protection 
Activity plav::^ ;;:- 


Information 


Data recovery plan 


Information; I-- 


■ : Data recovery plan. ; : 


Information 


■ : Data recovery plan: 


Conservation 


Data recovery pkn 
Monitoring/protection 


Information, ;;;/ 
Conservation 
Public Uses 


. Data recovery:: :plan ; ; . ; 
Monitoring/protection 
: : ■ -Activity plan ; 


Conservation ;: ; 


Data recovery plan 
Monitoring/protecnon 
: Activity plan::: : ■ 



mm 



scatter 4 



Data. recovery plan: 



■Roac 



Key: 





:: Information 




: : :: Conservation 




;;.;: .Public Uses : 


al Life Way Areas 


;, ; ■ ■Conservation 



Activity plan ■ 

Native American consultation 
Monitoring 



Located in area proposed for severe disturbance or total destruction; from Federal actions. 

Located in relatively isolated area, not projected, for intensive recreational uses or Federal 

actjioii^: : : ; ;:;.::;:::;: :: ; : :: ; 

Located in area projected "for intensive ^recreational uses ^; : ^ : 

Located in any area; representative samples lor conservation previously selected. 



2-24 



^^^BBma^^^u^^^a^^B^^^^m^^Bmm^^B^^amKaauimXBI^^a^^^3:,:j:^^-Js'l^mKSKmtm 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Management Direction 

LD-l-a. Unauthorized use of public lands 
outside established disposal areas may be 
resolved through direct sale, if proven the 
action was not willful or was due to an 
erroneous survey; or if remediation of existing 
hazardous substances on the property would be 
too costly. 

LD-l-b. Public lands located outside 
established disposal areas would be considered 
for repositioning to consolidate BLM parcels 
into a more contiguous land pattern and to 
improve public services and BLM land 
management. Repositioning would occur on a 
case-by-case basis, by exchange only, provided 
that: 

1 . The lands would serve the purpose of: 

a) community expansion and economic 
development, b) local government needs, or 
c) to facilitate Federal land management 
and minimize BLM administrative costs. 

2. The lands are not adjacent to 
Congressionally mandated disposal 
boundaries. 

3. Lands to be disposed are located outside 
any Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern, Traditional Lifeway Area, Special 
Recreation Management Area, Right-of- 
way corridor, Wilderness Study Area, 
active communication site, riparian site, or 
cultural sites eligible for inclusion on the 
National Register of Historic Places. 

4. The public lands are not encumbered by an 
existing permit or lease that would preclude 
the disposal action. 

5. The lands do not include habitat of 
Threatened, Endangered, and Special Status 

Species, or other crucial wildlife habitat. 

6. Other public uses of the parcel are of less 
value. 

7. The parcel of land is for a specific purpose 
and is no longer required for any other 
Federal purpose. 



8. Local communities support the exchange, 
and there is close coordination with the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada 
Division of Wildlife, and Clark County. 

9. Public access would be improved. 

10. Any other specific values or concerns not 
identified above would be analyzed at the 
time of the proposal to determine if the 
disposal would be in the public's best 
interest. 

LD-l-c. Public lands within the Las Vegas 
BLM District are not suitable for entry under 
Indian Allotment, Desert Land Entry or the 
Carey Act, and would not be disposed of 
through those authorities. 

LD-l-d. Recreation and Public Purpose leases 
identified for sale prior to approval of this plan, 
which were located inside a disposal area under 
the current management plan and are outside 
the proposed disposal areas, would remain 
available for sale to the current lessee or 
assignee. 

LD-l-e. Approximately 9,423 acres of BLM 
inholdings within Ash Meadows National 
Wildlife Refuge are available for withdrawal by 
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for 
inclusion in the refuge. 

LD-l-f. Approximately 11,014 acres of the 
Desert Tortoise Conservation Center 
Management Area are available for withdrawal 
by other Federal agencies when such transfer 
would further objective SS-4. 

Objective 

Land Use Authorizations 
LD-2. All public lands within the planning 
area, unless otherwise classified, segregated or 
withdrawn, and with the exception of Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern and Wilderness 
Study Areas, are available at the discretion of 
the agency, for land use leases and permits 
under Section 302 of Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act and for airport leases under 
the authority of the Act of May 24, 1928, as 
amended. 



2-25 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 2-11. Disposal areas 



27,904 



Lalhrop Wells 
Laughlin 

Mesqmte/Bimkervill 
Moapa/Glendale 
Nelson 
Pafifump ■ 



,302 
420: 



: 3.772 

;;4,720 

14,460 

40,950 

: 1,259 

.14,768 

6,268 

1.944 

1,181 

985: 



^Includes a< 
highway ad 



total 



Management Direction 

LD-2-a. Land use lease or permit applications 
and airport lease applications will be addressed 
on a case-by-case basis, where consistent with 
other resource management objectives and local 
land uses. Special terms and conditions 
regarding use of the public lands involved will 
be developed as applicable. 

Objective 

Land Classifications/Segregations 

LD-3. Terminate or modify any unused, outdated, 

or unnecessary classifications/segregations and 

withdrawals on public lands to reduce the area of 

segregation in the plan area. 

Management Direction 

LD-3-a. In consultation with the appropriate 
Federal agency or applicant, review existing 
and pending classifications/segregations and 
withdrawals to determine if there is a continued 
need for them. Consideration will be given to 
withdrawal of approximately 1,500 acres of 
public land adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base in 



support of the Department of Defense's 
Ammunition and Explosives Safety Program. 

LD-3-b. The following small tract 
classifications will be terminated: 

T. 25 S., R. 59 E. BLM, BLM Order 2/18/63, 
Small Tract CI 1 

T. 22 S., R. 60 E., BLM, BLM Order 4/28/72, 
Small Tract CI 106 



Rights-of-Way Management 

Objective 

RW-1. Meet public demand and reduce 
impacts to sensitive resources by providing an 
orderly system of development for 
transportation, including legal access to private 
inholdings, communications, flood control, 
major utility transmission lines, and related 
facilities. 

Management Direction 

RW-l-a. Designate the following corridors: 

1. A corridor 1,400 feet wide from the north 
side of the Sunrise Instant Study Area south 
through Rainbow Gardens to the Lake Mead 
crossover. 

This corridor is described as west of the east 
boundary of the IPP-McCullough 
powerlines. Activation and use of this 
corridor is contingent upon Congressional 
action releasing the Instant Study Area from 
further wilderness consideration and study. 

2. See Map 2-4 for the location of the 
proposed corridor designations in this 
alternative. An approximate total of 
158,806 acres is involved, including 
legislative designations and the proposed 
Sunrise Mountain designation. The 
corridors range in width from 1,400 feet to 
3,000 feet, for a total length of 
approximately 538 miles. 

RW-l-b. Do not extend the following 
corridors : 



2-26 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



1 . The corridor entering Nevada at Nipton 
Road and designated as Contingent Corridor 
W in the California Desert Conservation 
Area Plan, dated 1980, will not be carried 
forward in this alternative. The 1988 
Mojave National Scenic Area Management 
Plan recommended elimination of the 
corridor; this was accomplished by a plan 
amendment to the California Desert 
Conservation Area Plan. 

2. Corridor K-G described and identified in 
the Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource 
Management Plan (1986) will not be carried 
forward in this alternative. This area is 
constrained by natural and man-made 
features including mountains, the Amargosa 
River, the Low-Level Nuclear Waste Site, 
and the town of Beatty. An adjacent 
corridor to the east of this area has the 
capability to handle foreseeable future 
powerlines. 

3. The corridor designated along the eastern 
boundary of U.S. Highway 93 between the 
Aerojet Conveyance Area and the Apex 
Project Area will not tie into the corridor 
designated inside the west boundary of the 
Apex project area. Per an industry request, 
the corridor will stop approximately 5 miles 
short of the project area, continue east, and 
tie into the corridor extending southwesterly 
from the Moapa Indian Reservation. 

RW-l-c. When feasible, and where 
compatible, major pipeline rights-of-way will be 
placed within powerline corridors. 

RW-l-d. Provide right-of-way access for local 
flood control agencies to develop or maintain 
flood control developments, consistent with 
right-of-way avoidance and exclusion areas. 

RW-l-e. Except as identified in RW-l-f and 
RW-l-g, all Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern and all lands within 0.25 mile of 
significant caves, exclusive of any designated 
corridors, are designated as right-of-way 
avoidance areas. This management direction 
also applies to RW-2 below. 

RW-l-f. Linear right-of-way exclusion areas 
are limited to the Hidden Valley District, Sloan 



Rock Art, and Big Dune Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern. 

RW-l-g. Site type right-of-way exclusion areas 
are limited to all areas of critical environmental 
concern, except within 0.50 mile on either side 
of Federal Aid Highways. This management 
direction also applies to RW-2 below. 

RW-l-h. All public land within the planning 
area, except as stated in RW-l-c through RW- 
l-g, are available at the discretion of the agency 
for rights-of-way under the authority of the 
Federal Land Policy Management Act. 

Objective 

RW-2. Maximize the use of existing 
communication sites and prevent the 
proliferation of scattered single user sites. 

Management Direction 

RW-2-a. See Map 2-4 for the present 
location of existing established 
communication sites that will be carried 
forward in this alternative. 

RW-2-b. Authorization of future 
communication site rights-of-way would be 
handled as follows: 

Communication Sites with a Site Management 
Plan: 

1. Facilities authorized under new rights-of- 
way will be constructed in accordance with 
an approved Site Management Plan. 

Communication Sites without a Site 
Management Plan: 

2. New rights-of-way will be authorized within 
and on existing rights-of-way and facilities. 

This direction also includes communication 
site facilities not ordinarily located on a 
mountain top, such as AM radio facilities, 
personal communications service facilities, 
and cellular telephone sites. Personal 
communications service facilities will most 
likely occur along transportation corridors 
such as interstate highways. 

RW-2-c. Requests for new communication 
sites will generally be processed as follows: 



2-27 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



I 



1 . Competitive bidding procedures will be 
utilized. 

2. Multi-user facilities will be constructed. 

3. Site users will jointly form a committee 
and develop a Site Management Plan. 

See MN-l-n. for Objectives and Management 
Direction regarding material site rights-of-way. 



Acquisitions Management 

Objective 

AQ-1. To acquire private lands to enhance the 
recovery of special status species, protect 
valuable resources and facilitate the 
management of adjacent BLM lands. Secure 
legal and physical on-the-ground access to 
otherwise inaccessible public lands. 

Management Direction 
Land Acquisition Needs 
Land acquisition needs will generally be 
processed through the land exchange program; 
however, if the opportunity arises lands may be 
acquired by donations, Congressionally 
appropriated funds, or compensation funds. 

AQ-l-a. The following land acquisition 
priorities are based on finding willing sellers: 

1 . Private lands required to meet 
management objectives within designated 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, 
Wilderness Study Areas, recommended 
Wilderness Areas, Congressionally 
designated areas, Threatened and 
Endangered Species habitat, and areas 
containing special status species. 

2. Lands located within the district, 
conveyed into private ownership to 
Aerojet Corporation through P.L. 100- 
275. The lands involved are located in 
Coyote Spring Valley and will be 
retained in Federal ownership as part of 
Coyote Springs Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. 

3. Private lands along the Virgin River, 
south of Riverside. 



4. Lands not specifically identified for 
acquisition could be acquired on a case- 
by-case basis for the following reasons: 

a) protect Threatened and Endangered 
Species and Special Status Species. 

b) provide resource protection. 

c) facilitate implementation of the 
Resource Management Plan. 

d) provide a more manageable land 
ownership pattern. 

e) maintain or enhance public uses and 
values. 

AQ-l-b. The BLM will not acquire 
contaminated property. 



Recreation Management 

Objective 

RC-1. Ensure that a wide range of recreation 
opportunities are available for recreation users in 
concert with protecting the natural resources on 
public lands that attract users. 

Management Direction 

RC-l-a. Primary management emphasis will 
be on resource-based uses, not facility-based 
uses. 



RC-l-b. Designate the following Special 
Recreation Management Areas as areas where 
BLM will concentrate the majority of its 
recreation management program effort (see RC- 
2 through RC-9). 

Muddy Mountains 

Nellis Dunes 

Sunrise Mountain 

Las Vegas Valley 

Nelson Hills 

Jean/Roach Dry Lakes 

Laughlin 

Big Dune 

Lands outside the Special Recreation 
Management Areas will be included within the 
Southern Nevada Extensive Recreation 
Management Area (see RC-10 and Map 2-5). 

RC-l-c. Limit recreation facility development 
and special designations to those necessary for 
resource protection. 



2-28 





Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 




Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 


RC-l-d. Retain the Recreation Opportunity 


freeplay, picnicking, photography, and other non- 


Spectrum inventory classifications and 


off-road vehicle commercial and competitive 


opportunity settings as a long-term management 


permitted activities. (See Map 2-5) 


goal for all actions. 




Recreation Opportunity Spectrum designations (as 


Management Direction 


described in detail in Chapter 3, See Map 3-17) 


RC-3-a. Permit off-road vehicle free-play and 


include the following: 


high-speed, competitive Off-Highway Vehicle 




events of all types within the Special 


Designation Acres 


Recreation Management Area. 


\ Semi-primitive Nonmotorized 276,570 




Semi-primitive Motorized 651,414 


RC-3-b. Prohibit recreational and target 


Roaded Natural 1,928,640 


shooting in the Special Recreation 


Rural 350,626 


Management Area, to coincide with Clark 


Urban 124,645 


County's shooting ordinance. 


RC-l-e. Support the Nevada Division of 


RC-3-c. Consider cooperative ventures, such 


Wildlife in an effort to maintain and improve 


as concession leases to enhance recreation 


hunting opportunities in Clark County. 


opportunities. 


RC-l-f. Designate the desert tortoise Areas of 


Sunrise Mountain Special Recreation 


Critical Environmental Concern as Special 


Management Area 


Areas under 43 CFR 8372 to provide improved 




management and coordination between 


Objective 


recreational uses and tortoise habitat 


RC-4. Manage 37,620 acres of the 


management. 


Sunrise/Frenchman Mountain/Rainbow Gardens 




Special Recreation Management Area for recreation 


Muddv Mountains Special Recreation 


opportunities in concert with sensitive plant, scenic, 


Management Area 


cultural, and geologic values of the concurrent Area 




of Critical Environmental Concern. (See Map 2-5). 


Objective 




RC-2. Manage 123,400 acres of the Muddy 


Management Direction 


Mountain area to provide semi-primitive recreation 


RC-4-a. Prohibit speed based 


opportunities and integrated management of wildlife 


motorcycle/truck/buggy off-road vehicle events. 


habitat, cultural resources, and other recreational 


Limit mountain bike events to designated roads 


uses. (See Map 2-5) 


and trails until completion of long-term 




planning in the Recreation Area Management 


! Management Direction 


Plan. 


j RC-2-a. Manage the majority of the area 




(78,480 acres) for semi-primitive non-motorized 


RC-4-b. Allow non-speed events (such as all 


recreation opportunities. 


terrain bicycle events, motorcycle trials, non- 




competitive off-road vehicle events, and 


RC-2-b. Manage the remaining area (44,897 


commercial permitted events and activities) on 


acres) for semi-primitive motorized recreation 


designated roads and trails on a case-by-case 


opportunities. 


basis until completion of long-term planning in 




the Recreation Area Management Plan . 


Nellis Dunes Special Recreation Management 




Area 


RC-4-c. Encourage cooperative ventures, such 




as concession leases, to enhance recreation 


Objective 


opportunities. 


RC-3. Manage 10,000 acres of the Nellis Dunes as 




an open area for intensive off-road vehicle and 


RC-4-d. Concentrate major powerline 


other recreation opportunities, including organized 


transmission rights-of-way within the confines 


off-road vehicle events, casual off-road vehicle 


of the designated utility corridor to reduce 


. 


2-29 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



conflicts with recreation and to reduce impacts 
to scenic resources, such as Rainbow Gardens 
and Lava Butte. 

RC-4-e. This area will be closed to casual 
recreational shooting in accordance with Clark 
County's No-shooting for the Las Vegas 
Valley. 

Las Vegas Valley Special Recreation 
Management Area 

Objective 

RC-5. Coordinate with county and city 
governments to manage 197,300 acres in the Las 
Vegas Valley to facilitate the provision of open 
space areas, recreational trails, and parks necessary 
for valley residents. (See Map 2-5) 

Management Direction 

RC-5-a. Identify land for reserve recreational 
trail, open space, parks, etc. as needed, prior to 
land disposals. Reservation should be done 
through Recreation and Public Purpose 
applications by local governmental agencies. 

RC-5-b. Identify public lands on the perimeter 
and within the Special Recreation Management 
Area that are appropriate for recreational uses 
in support of local government land use plans. 

RC-5-c Prohibit recreational and target 
shooting on public lands within the Special 
Recreation Management Area, in accordance 
with the Clark County and local government 
shooting ordinances. Prohibit camping on 
public lands in the Special Recreation 
Management Area, except where specifically 
authorized and designated. 

RC-5-d. Close the Special Recreation 
Management Area to individual, organized, and 
competitive off-road use and vehicle events 
including off-road casual use. An exception to 
this closure is the Nellis Dunes off-road vehicle 
Area and the "Nevada 400" course route to the 
north. Nevada 400 course limited to one event 
per year. 

Nelson Hills/Eldorado Special Recreation 
Management Area 



Objective 

RC-6. Manage 81,600 acres for competitive off- 
road vehicle events on BLM-administered lands in 
the Nelson Hills/Eldorado Valley Special Recreation 
Management Area, in accordance with the 
applicable Biological Opinion(s) to protect desert 
tortoise habitat. (See Map 2-5) 

Management Direction 

RC-6-a. Authorize a maximum of nine speed 
based events yearly, including five 
motorcycle/All Terrain Vehicle and four buggy 
events. 

RC-6-b. All permitted events must take place 
on existing previously used courses. 

RC-6-c. Permitted speed-based off-road 
vehicle events are allowed only between 
November 1 and February 28 within the parts 
of the Special Recreation Management Area 
that are critical tortoise habitat. 

Jean/Roach Dry Lakes Special Recreation 
Management Area 

Objective 

RC-7. Manage 216,300 acres in the Jean/Roach 
Dry Lakes area (Map 2-10) for intensive recreation 
opportunities, including competitive off-road vehicle 
(in accordance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Biological Opinion) and other recreational 
events, as well as dispersed recreational use and 
commercial activities. Minimize impacts to white- 
margined penstemon populations in accordance with 
policies regarding BLM sensitive species. (See Map 
2-5) 

Management Direction 

RC-7-a. Permit high-speed, competitive off- 
road vehicle events, casual off-road vehicle 
uses, and other recreational and commercial 
activities. 

RC-7-b. Permitted events will be allowed only 
on previously disturbed areas in tortoise 
habitat, existing roads, trails, and dry washes. 

RC-7-c. Non-vegetated parts of the dry lake 
beds will be managed as Open to unrestricted 
Off-Highway Vehicle use. 



2-30 





Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 




Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 




camping areas. Long-term recreation 


Lau&hlin Special Recreation Management Area 


management within the dunes would be based 




on the beetles' minimum habitat requirements. 


Objective 




RC-8. Provide a higher level of management 


Southern Nevada Extensive Recreation 


emphasis through increased use monitoring, ranger 


Manasement Area 


patrols, increased BLM presence at permitted 




events, and increased coordination with local 


Objective 


government and businesses for recreational uses on 


RC-10. Manage public lands not included within 


25,600 acres of public lands around Laughlin, 


Special Recreation Management Areas as the 


Nevada (See Map 2-5) 


Southern Nevada Extensive Recreation Management 




Area, emphasizing dispersed and diverse recreation 


Management Direction 


opportunities. (See Map 2-5) 


RC-8-a. Work closely with the Nevada 




Division of Wildlife to protect habitat areas and 


Manasement Direction 


riparian resources of concern. 


RC-10-a. Manage permitted recreation and 




commercial events (outside Special Recreation 


RC-8-b. Until completion of the Recreation 


Management Areas) as follows: 


Area Management Plan, allow up to two off- 




road vehicle events, with the following terms: 


Areas of Critical Environmental Concern - 


• Limit to 200 participants. 


Prohibit the following activities: off-road 


• Closed from May 1 to the Saturday following 


vehicle speed events, 4-wheel drive hill climbs, 


opening of upland game bird season (usually 


mini-events, publicity rides, and high speed 


the second Saturday in October). 


testing. 


The seasonal restrictions and the number of 


Limit non-speed and non-off-road vehicle 


events and participants may be modified as a 


events to designated roads and trails in tortoise 


result of the Recreation Area Management Plan 


Areas of Critical Environmental Concern; and 


process. 


to existing roads and trails in Areas of Critical 




Environmental Concern designated for other 


Bis Dune Special Recreation Management Area 


purposes. 


Objective 


Allow other recreation and/or commercial 


RC9. Manage 11,600 acres of the Big Dune area 


events on a case-by-case basis. Seasonal 


for moderate, casual off-road vehicle use, camping, 


restrictions may be imposed, based on tortoise 


and other casual recreation opportunities. (See Map 
2-5) 


activity. 




Other Areas - Permit events on a case-by-case 


! Manasement Direction 


basis. Restrictions and stipulations necessary 


RC-9-a. Prohibit all Off-Highway Vehicle use 


for protection of the desert tortoise may be 


within the 200-acre beetle habitat in the Big 


imposed within desert tortoise habitat. Close 


Dune Area of Critical Environmental Concern 


land disposal areas to overnight camping. 


(except on the designated route through the 




area), to ensure continued survival of the native 


RC-10-b. Allow recreation concession leases 


beetle population. Prohibit speed-based 


that enhance resource management objectives. 


competitive off-road vehicle events within the 




1,920-acre Big Dune Area of Critical 


RC-10-c. As resource conditions and/or use 


Environmental Concern. 


levels warrant, inventory, designate, and 




manage mountain bicycle and equestrian trails 


RC-9-b. Allow commercial activities and other 


throughout the Extensive Recreation 


permitted events on a case-by-case basis. 


Management Area to meet increasing public 




demand for these activities. 


RC-9-c. Establish long-term management goals 




and objectives including consideration of group 




,___--____________^_____________________^__^^ 


2-31 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Off Highway/Road Vehicle Designations 

Objective 

RC-11. Provide opportunities for off-road vehicle 
use while protecting wildlife habitat, cultural 
resources, hydrological and soil resources, non- 
motorized recreation opportunities, natural/aesthetic 
values, and other uses of the public land (See Map 
2-10). 

Management Direction 

RC-ll-a. Designate following areas (see Map 
2-10) as OPEN to all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles: 

• Nellis Dunes Special Recreation Management 
Area (approx. 10,000 acres). 

• Non-vegetated portions of Big Dune Special 
Recreation Management Area outside of 
designated beetle habitat (approx. 11,600 
acres). 

• Non-vegetated portions of dry lake beds 
(approx. 3,000 acres). 

RC-ll-b. Designate following areas (see Map 
2-10) as CLOSED to all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles: 

• Hidden Valley (3,360 acres) in the south 
Muddy Mountains. 

• Approximately 200 acres of beetle habitat at 
Big Dune Special Recreation Management 
Area (that portion shown on Map 2-10). 

The Mojave Road is closed to competitive 
events along or within the road alignment; 
however, a race course may cross the road 
alignment. Except for the Hidden Valley area, 
lands in Wilderness Study Areas are not 
included in this designation. This designation 
would apply to any areas designated by 
Congress as wilderness in the future. (See Map 
2-10.) 

RC-ll-c. Designate the following areas (See 
Map 2-10) as LIMITED TO DESIGNATED 
ROADS AND TRAILS for all motorized and 
mechanized vehicles: 

• Approximately 743,209 acres desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
including the Piute/Eldorado, Mormon Mesa, 
Coyote Springs, and Gold Butte. 

• Approximately 327,000 acres adjacent to the 
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 



Area and the United States Forest Service 
Spring Mountain National Recreation Area 
(between State Highway 160 and U.S. 
Highway 95). 

• Rainbow Gardens Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern (37,620 acres). 

• BLM inholdings totaling approximately 
9,423 acres in Ash Meadows National 
Wildlife Refuge. 

• All land disposal areas. 

RC-ll-d. Designate approximately 2,186,483 
acres as shown on Map 2-10 as LIMITED TO 
EXISTING ROADS. TRAILS AND DRY 
WASHES for all motorized and mechanized 
vehicles. This designation includes: 

• All Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
designated for purposes other than tortoise 
habitat protection and all lands not otherwise 
designated in RC-ll-a, b or c. 

• All Wilderness Study Areas (or portions) not 
included in RC-ll-c. 

Wilderness Study Areas are further limited to 
"existing trails and ways". This distinction is 
made because Wilderness Study Areas are by 
definition (and inventory) "roadless." However, 
some Wilderness Study Areas have 4-wheel 
drive jeep trails known as trails or ways that 
remain open to limited use. Wilderness Study 
Area Off-Highway Vehicle designations are 
interim, contingent on Congress making a final 
decision as to their designation as wilderness. 

RC-ll-e. Management of Speed-Based 
Recreation Events (See Appendix J.) 

Within tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern - Prohibit off-road vehicle speed 
events, mountain bike races, horse endurance 
rides, 4-wheel drive hill climbs, mini-events, 
publicity rides, high-speed testing, and similar 
speed based events. 

Within other Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern - Prohibit off-road vehicle speed 
events, 4-wheel drive hill climbs, mini-events, 
publicity rides and high speed testing. 
Mountain bike events and horse endurance rides 
may be allowed on a case-by-case basis and 
limited to existing roads and trails. 



2-32 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Within non-Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern Critical Habitat - Nine speed-based 
events can be allowed yearly in the, Nelson 
Hills/Eldorado Valley on existing roads and 
trails; with racing allowed between November 1 
and February 28, and the number of laps 
limited to a maximum of five. Additional 
specifics may be included in the U.S.Fish and 
Wildlife Service Biological Opinion. If the U.S 
Fish and Wildlife Service changes critical 
habitat following the designation of tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, the 
Off-Highway Vehicle designations and off-road 
vehicle restrictions will be reviewed and 
modified if appropriate. 

Nellis Dunes and dry lakes - Allow off-road 
vehicle and other speed events subject to 
environmental protection and public safety 
stipulations. 

Other Areas - Permit events on a case-by-case 
basis. No seasonal restrictions. No new 
courses in critical desert tortoise habitat. No 
new off-road vehicle events in crucial bighorn 
sheep habitat. 

RC-ll-f. Management of Non-Speed Based 
Recreation Events (including non-speed 
portions of speed events; See Appendix J and 
Map 2-10). 

Within desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern - Allow non-speed 
events subject to the following limitations: 

1. Issue Recreation Use Permits for events with 
more than 25 vehicles. 

2. Events involving more than 100 vehicles 
must be held during the tortoise inactive 
season from November 1 to February 28/29. 
To maintain consistency with California 
vehicle limit restrictions, there will be a cap 
of no more than 300 motorcycles or 300 
four-wheeled vehicles (including all terrain 
vehicles) on all events. With the exception 
that if a alternative route for the Barstow-to- 
Vegas event is not found, resulting in the 
need to traverse the Piute Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern, the number of 
entrants permitted in Nevada will be 
consistent with that permitted by California. 



3. No Off-Highway Vehicle non-speed events 
will be permitted between April 1 and June 
1 and between August 15 and October 15 
(Dates will vary slightly annually due to 
calendar shifts to provide a full Saturday 
and Sunday weekend if April 1st falls 
during the weekend and to provide three full 
weekends prior to, or including November 
1st). 

4. A maximum of 10 permitted non-speed 
events, with a limit of 100 vehicles, will be 
allowed annually during the tortoise active 
season (March 1st to October 31, except for 
dates allowed in #3 above). There will be 
no more than three events per Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern, with the 
exception that an event based on historic use 
patterns will be allowed from Mesquite 
through the Mormon Mesa Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. This event, which 
may have 200 entrants, counts as two of the 
3 events held annually and is limited to a 
one-way route (north-south or south-north). 

5. A maximum of 12 permitted non-speed 
events will be allowed annually during the 
tortoise inactive season (November 1 to 
February 28/29) with no more than 4 events 
per Area of Critical Environmental Concern. 

6. Vehicles shall not exceed the legal speed 
limit (posted or unposted) of the roads used 
during the event. Clark County speed limit 
for unposted roads is 25 miles per hour. 
These events include, but are not limited to 
motorcycle or buggy rallies and mountain 
bike rides. 

7. Authorized non-speed events that cross the 
Lincoln/Clark County borders will only be 
allowed in accordance with corridors 
identified within the approved Caliente 
Management Framework Plan Amendment. 

Within other Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern - Non-speed uses such as non-speed 
off-road vehicle events (road rallies, dual sport 
rides, and non-speed transfer sections of speed 
events), mountain bike events, and horse trail 
rides are allowed on existing roads, trails, and 
dry washes (RC-ll-d). 



2-33 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Within non-Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern Critical Habitat - Non-speed uses such 
as non-speed off-road vehicle events (road 
rallys, dual sport rides, and non-speed transfer 
sections of speed events), guided commercial 
scenic tours, and mountain bike tours are 
allowed on existing roads and trails. If the U.S 
Fish and Wildlife Service changes critical 
habitat following the designation of tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Off- 
Highway Vehicle designations will be reviewed 
and modified if appropriate. 

Nellis Dunes and Dry Lake Beds - Allow off- 
road vehicle and other events subject to 
environmental protection and public safety 
stipulations. 

Other Areas - Permit events on a case-by-case 
basis. No seasonal restrictions. No new 
courses in critical desert tortoise habitat. 

Cave Management 

Objective 

RC-12. Protect significant cave resources including 
cultural, scientific, biological, geological, 
hydrological, educational and recreational values; 
and manage each cave for its primary unique 
resource opportunity. 

Management Direction 

RC-12-a. Determine the primary values of 
each cave and set long-term management goals 
and objectives. 

RC-12-b. Enlist local and national caving 
organizations to assist in assessment and 
management of cave resources. Restrict access 
to cave location data to bonafide scientific 
studies and experienced cavers. 

RC-12-c. Manage all cave resources as wild 
systems, free from commercial or show cave 
type developments. Special Recreation Permits 
for commercially guided trips by qualified cave 
experts may be considered if environmental 
studies show that cave resources will not be 
impacted. 

RC-12-d. Establish a registration system for 
cave entry, where needed. 



RC-12-e. Designate all significant cave 
resources and newly discovered cave resources 
as right-of-way avoidance areas. 

RC-12-f. If necessary, implement closures to 
protect breading, hibernating, or migrating bats 
from unnecessary disturbances. 

RC-12-g. If necessary, gate cave entrances to 
protect unique and fragile cave resources from 
damage or overuse. 



Wild and Scenic Rivers Management 

Objective 

SR-1. Participate in a study of the Virgin River for 
Wild and Scenic River designation when proposal is 
initiated by either Arizona or Utah. 

Management Direction 

SR-l-a. Provide interim management 
protection for the river by including the area in 
the Virgin River Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern and requiring any proposed action to 
consider the potential affect on the river's 
classification as Wild and Scenic. 



Wilderness Management 

Objective 

WS-1. Ensure that characteristics on certain lands 
that caused them to be inventoried and designated 
as Wilderness Study Areas are maintained and not 
diminished or lessened in any way that might 
constrain or limit Congress' final wilderness 
designation decisions.* 

Management Direction 

WS-l-a. Manage Wilderness Study Areas in 
accordance with the Interim Management 
Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review. 

Objective 

WS-2. Provide management direction for new 
wilderness areas and Wilderness Study Areas not 
designated as wilderness by Congress and released 
from interim management. 



2-34 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Management Direction 

WS-2-a. Manage released lands to generally 
maintain the existing aesthetic qualities through 
multiple use management of those areas and to 
provide for semi-primitive recreation 
opportunities. Adopt limited use Off-Highway 
Vehicle, Visual Resource Management and 
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum designations 
consistent with designations already in place on 
adjacent non-Wilderness Study Area lands. 

WS-2-b. Manage those lands released by 
Congress to allow opportunities for mineral 
exploration and development in accordance 
with current laws and regulations and consistent 
with decisions for minerals management on 
adjacent lands. 

Objective 

WS-3. Release from further wilderness review 
lands in the Logandale area that were omitted from 
the original wilderness review that do not meet 
Wilderness Study Area criteria. 

During the BLM's wilderness study, there were 
20,299 acres in several parcels inadvertently 
omitted due to a mapping error showing the lands 
as State of Nevada property. Because of this error, 
these lands were in an uncertain status. A 
subsequent field inventory determined that these 
lands do not meet the criteria necessary for 
Wilderness Study Area designation. This objective 
completes the inventory/decision process. 

Manasement Direction 

WS-3-a. Release the Logandale Unit from 
further consideration as wilderness due to the 
existing uses of the area as a roaded natural 
recreation area. These uses have impacted the 
area's naturalness and comprised its primitive 
and unconfined recreational opportunities 
potential. 



Minerals Management 

See Map 2-3 (Land Disposal Areas) and Map 2-7 
(Areas of Critical Environmental Concern) for the 
locations of the mineral management areas 
described below. 

Objectives 

MN-1. Where lands remain open to entry provide 

for orderly exploration and development of valuable 



minerals on Federally owned mineral estate whether 
or not the surface estate is in Federal ownership. 

MN-2. Use appropriate environmental safeguards 
to allow for the preservation and enhancement of 
fragile and unique resources. 

Manasement Direction 

Solid Leasable Minerals 

MN-l-a. On split estate lands, private surface that 
is developed for non-mineral use will not be 
managed for solid mineral development. 

MN-l-b. Allow solid mineral leasing on 1,872,673 
acres, which are on lands outside identified disposal 
and administrative areas, outside riparian and 
natural spring areas, and outside Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, subject to standard lease 
terms and conditions (see Appendix M). Proposed 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Disposal 
Areas, and Locations and Areas Closed to 
Authorization/Renewal of Material Site Rights-of- 
Way and to Mineral Materials Disposal and 
Locatable Minerals and Solid Leasables are listed in 
Tables 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 2-5, 2-6, 2-11 and 2-12. See 
Maps 2-3 and 2-7. 

MN-l-c. After June 1, 1999, do not renew sand 
and gravel solid mineral leases that lie within lands 
identified for disposal (Map 2-3). Except as 
otherwise provided, continued sand and gravel 
extraction would be considered under 43 Code of 
Federal Regulations Part 3600, subject to authorized 
officer approval. No sales under the 3600 
regulations would be made until the leases expire. 

MN-l-d. Solid mineral leasing will be allowed on 
lands released from Wilderness review that are not 
within Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, 
and not within areas described in MN-l-a, MN-l-b, 
MN-l-c, above. 

Fluid Leasable Minerals 

MN-l-e. Allow fluid mineral leasing subject to 
standard terms and conditions on 1,909,351 
acres, which are outside identified disposal and 
administrative areas and outside Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern. (See 
Appendix M and Maps 2-3 and 2-7.) 



2-35 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



MN-l-f. Allow fluid mineral leasing on lands 
released from wilderness review, subject to the 
management direction in MN-l-e, MN-l-g, and 
MN-l-n. The total acreage released will not be 
known until Congress acts. 

MN-l-g. Allow fluid mineral leasing, subject 
to No Surface Occupancy stipulations within 
areas having important cultural, geological, and 
riparian resources; special status species plant 
and animal habitat; Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern; administrative sites; 
and Special Recreation Management Areas. 
The ACECs subject to this No Surface 
Occupancy provision total approximately 
866,000 acres (see list of these ACECs and 
acreages of each below). For Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern noted with **, the 
acreage excludes Bureau of Reclamation 
withdrawals. 



Virgin River Riparian zone 
within 0.25 mile of natural 
springs (See Table 3-3). 



805 



3.000 



Total Acres: 866,067 



MN-l-h. Close the Ash Meadows Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern, including BLM 
lands inside the Ash Meadows National 
Wildlife Refuge to geothermal prospecting and 
leasing. 

MN-l-i. Allow fluid mineral leasing (subject 
to Timing and Surface Use Constraint special 
stipulations) on the four Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern listed below totaling 
approximately 112,000 acres. These ACECs 
have special wildlife habitat, riparian, cultural, 
and geologic values. 



ACEC Acres 

Piute/Eldorado Valley 329,440 

Coyote Springs Valley 75,500 

Mormon Mesa 151,360 

Gold Butte, Part A 

(including Whitney Pockets, Devil's Throat, 

Red Rock Springs ACEC, Bureau of 

Reclamation lands.)** 

Arden Historic Sites 

Arrow Canyon 

Ash Meadows (outside Ash 

Meadows National Wildlife Refuge) 

Big Dune 

Crescent Townsite 

Hidden Valley 

Keyhole Canyon 

Rainbow Gardens ** 

River Mountains ** 

Sloan Rock Art District 

Stump Spring 

Virgin River 

Desert Tortoise Conservation 

Center Management Area 

(excluding 475-acre overlap with 

Arden Historic Sites) 

Nellis Dunes Recreation Area 

Public Domain lands within 

Ash Meadows National Wildlife 

Refuge 

Muddy River Riparian zone 



185,469 
1,480 
2,084 

27,729 
1,920 

437 
3,360 

361 

37,620 

5,617 

320 

641 
6,411 



11,014 
10,000 



9,423 
205 



ACEC 


Acres 


Amargosa Mesquite 


6,891 


Gold Butte, part B, outside of 




Wilderness Study Areas 


66,477 


Gold Butte, part C 




(Virgin Mountains) 


38.431 


Total acres: 


111,799 


Locatable Minerals 





MN-l-j. An estimated 2,135,146 acres would 
remain open to the operation of the mining laws 
after existing withdrawals for military uses, 
industrial sites, and powersites (see Map 2-7). 

MN-2-a. Withdraw the following urban 
disposal areas, BLM- administrative areas, 
special plant and animal management areas, 
sensitive cultural resource sites, and special 
geologic areas from the operation of the mining 
laws, subject to valid existing rights. Within 
desert tortoise areas of critical environmental 
concern, conduct validity determinations of 
mining claims prior to approval of a mine plan 
on pre-existing mining claims. 



2-36 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Areas to be Segregated and Withdrawn: 

Urban Disposal and 

BLM Administrative Areas Acres 

Amargosa 27,904 

Goodsprings 915 

Indian Springs 1,303 

Jean 2,445 

Lathrop Wells 3,773 

Las Vegas Valley 54,487 

Laughlin 4,720 

Mesquite 14,460 

Moapa 40,950 

Nelson 1,259 

Pahrump 14,768 

Primm 1 ? 181 

Sandy Valley 6,268 

Searchlight 1,944 

Three Lakes Valley 1,989 

Valley West (Blue Diamond) 995 

Desert Tortoise Conservation Center 1 1,014 
Management Area (excludes the 
495-acre overlap with Arden Historic Sites) 

Desert Tortoise Habitat Areas, Cultural 

Resource, and Special Geologic Areas : Acres 

Piute /Eldorado Valley ACEC 329,440 

Coyote Springs Valley ACEC 75,500 

Mormon Mesa ACEC 151,360 

Gold Butte ACEC, Part A 185,469 

(including,, Devil's Throat*, Red 

Rock Springs*, and Whitney 

Pockets* Areas of Critical 

Environmental Concern, and 

Bureau of Reclamation lands.) 

Amargosa Mesquite ACEC 6,891 

Arden Historic Sites ACEC 1,480 

Arrow Canyon ACEC 2,084 

Big Dune ACEC 1,920 

Ash Meadows ACEC(outside Refuge) 27,729 

Crescent Mining Town ACEC 437 

Devils Throat ACEC* 

Gold Butte, Part B (includes Gold 118,536 

Butte Townsite ACEC) 

Hidden Valley ACEC 3,360 

Keyhole Canyon ACEC 361 

Rainbow Gardens ACEC 37,620 
Red Rock Springs ACEC* 

River Mountains ACEC 1 1 ,095 

Sloan Rock Art District ACEC 320 

Stump Springs ACEC 641 
Whitney Pockets ACEC* 

Virgin Mountains ACEC 38,341 

Virgin River ACEC 6,41 1 



Special Recreation Management Areas : Acres 
Nellis Dunes 10,000 



Riparian Zones : Acres 

Muddy River riparian zone 205 

Virgin River Riparian zone 805 

Within 0.25 mile of natural springs 
(See Table 3-3). 8,000 

Ash Meadows National Wildlife 

Refuge (BLM-administered lands) 9,423 
ACEC and Special Recreation 
Management Areas (see Maps 2-7 and 2-5; 
also see Table 3-3 for spring areas.) 

Total acres: 1,227,226 

Salable Minerals 

MN-l-k. Allow salable mineral disposal 
outside the areas listed in Table 2-12, and 
outside Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern (see Tables 2-2 through 2-6). Two 
exceptions are described below, one for 
highway maintenance use in desert tortoise 
management Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, and another for existing Clark 
County Free-Use and Government Wash 
Community Pit on the east edge of the Rainbow 
Gardens Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern. (Note : Legal descriptions are in 
Appendix M.) 

1) Gold Butte A, Coyote Springs, Mormon 
Mesa and Piute/Eldorado desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
remain open to issuance of free-use permits 
only within 0.50 mile to either side of the 
State highways and County Roads identified 
on Maps 2-12 and 2-13. These 
authorizations would only be issued to 
governmental entities. Grant permits only 
for a limited period of time. For expansions 
of existing pits exceeding a cumulative total 
of 1,000 acres of new disturbance, the 
applicant would be responsible for U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife consultation addressing 
possible impacts to the Desert Tortoise. 

2) Allow existing free-use and community 
pit authorizations in Township 20 South, 
Range 64 East, within the Rainbow Gardens 
Area of Critical Environmental Concern, to 



2-37 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



be re-authorized or renewed, but do not 
allow expansion of the sites. 

MN-11. Mineral material disposal determined 
to be detrimental to desert tortoise would not be 
authorized. 

MN-l-m. Consultation with the affected town 
board or advisory council would occur prior to 
approval of salable minerals disposal that could 
impact an unincorporated town or community. 

Material Site Rights-of Way 

MN-l-n. Allow new material site rights-of- 
way designation outside Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern listed in Tables 2-2 
through 2-6 and shown on Map 2-7. An 
exception is described below for material site 
rights-of-way in desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern. 

Exception ; Gold Butte A, Coyote Springs, 
Mormon Mesa, and Piute/Eldorado desert 
tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern would remain open to the granting of 
material site rights-of-way only within 0.50 
mile to either side of those federal aid highways 
identified on Maps 2-12 and 2-13. These 
authorizations would only be issued to 
governmental entities. Apply acreage 
limitations identified under MN-l-k. 

Hazardous Materials Management 

Objective 

HZ-1. Prevent hazardous materials contamination 

of public lands. 

Manaeement Direction 

HZ-1 -a. Minimize releases of hazardous 
materials through compliance with current 
regulations. When hazardous materials are 
released into the environment, assess their 
impacts on each resource and determine the 
appropriate response, removal, and remedial 
actions to take. 

Objective 

HZ-2. Reduce risks associated with hazardous 

materials on public lands. 



Manaeement Direction 

HZ-2-a. Evaluate all actions (including land 
use authorizations and disposals, mining and 
milling activities, and unauthorized land uses) 
for hazardous materials, waste minimization and 
pollution prevention. 

HZ-2-b. Complete site-specific inventories 
when lands are being disposed or acquired. It 
is departmental policy to minimize potential 
liability of the Department and its bureaus by 
acquiring property that is not contaminated 
unless directed by Congress, court mandate, or 
as determined by the Secretary." (602 DM 2). 

HZ-2-c. Inspect mining and milling sites to 
determine appropriate management for 
hazardous materials. 



Fire Management 

Objective 

FE-1. Provide fire suppression on approximately 

3,332,000 of public acres, based on 'suppression 

areas/zones and resource management needs (Map 

2-11). 

Manaeement Direction 

FE-l-a. Provide fire suppression efforts 
commensurate with resource and adjacent 
property values at risk. 

FE-l-b. Prevent human-caused fires through 
an aggressive education, investigation, and 
public outreach effort. 

FE-l-c. Provide for maximum fire protection 
through a comprehensive fire detection system 
using a multi-agency approach. 

FE-l-d. Use approved fire suppression 
techniques in areas of critical environmental 
concern where there are concerns for habitat, 
cultural resources, threatened and endangered 
species, wilderness study areas, designated 
natural areas, and urban/rural/wildland interface 
zones. 

FE-l-e. For fire suppression , follow specific 
guidance in the Fire Management Action Plan. 



K 



2-38 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Objective 

FE-2. Allow prescribed fire for resource 
enhancement purposes on those areas identified on 
Map 2-11. 

Management Direction 

FE-2-a. Determine specific hazard reduction 
priorities, including any noxious or invasive 
species infestations, and implement according to 
the existing budget. 

Objective 

FE-3. Provide fuels reduction management for 

resource protection on those areas identified on Map 

2-11. 

Management Direction 

FE-3-a. Determine specific prescribed burn 
priorities annually, including any noxious or 
invasive species infestations, and implement 
where possible. 

Objective 

FE-4. Provide fire suppression assistance to other 
state and federal entities where formal agreements 
are in place. 

Management Direction 

FE-4-a. Provide, maintain, and/or upgrade fire 
management cooperative agreements, 
memoranda of understanding, and reciprocal 
agreements to provide maximum protection to 
resources and or adjacent property values. 



Management Areas 

Fire Suvvression Areas/Zones 
The planning area is subject to suppression for 
wildland fires in three suppression zones (see Map 
2-11) based on site-specific resource management 
needs (such as critical desert tortoise habitat, 
Wilderness Study Areas and Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern). 



interface factor, and a high interagency mutual 
aid assistance factor. Unique vegetative 
communities exist throughout the zone. Non- 
attainment air quality is an issue. A higher 
percentage of human-caused and or related fires 
occur in Zone 1 than in other areas. 

Zones 2A and 2B: General Characteristics 
These areas contain critical desert tortoise 
habitat and bighorn sheep populations. There is 
a higher percentage of ephemeral/perennial 
plant communities, which can periodically 
produce heavy fuel loading of persistent annual 
species. Areas in these zones are mostly 
rural/wildland interface where a higher volume 
of fires are caused by lightening. Historic 
mining districts are more prevalent. These 
zones are generally more dry. Interagency 
mutual aid and assistance is necessary. Non- 
attainment air quality is an issue to a lesser 
degree, and unique vegetative communities 
exist throughout the zones. 

Fire Use Areas - Prescribed burning for 
resource enhancement may occur in the Gold 
Butte Allotment (where important values are 
wildlife, watershed, wild horses and burros), 
South McCullough Range (for wildlife), Virgin 
River Floodplains (where important values are 
riparian, wildlife, water quality, and recreation), 
and the Ash Meadows/Amargosa Hat Area. 

Fire Fuels Management Areas - The fuel 
hazard reduction for resource/property 
protection will occur in the Virgin Peak White 
Fir Stands (ladder fuel reduction), South 
McCullough Range Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands 
(shaded fuel break), and the Spring Mountain 
Woodlands (ladder fuel reduction). 



Develop specific tactics and initial attack 
schemes in subsequent activity plans. 

Zone 1: General Characteristics 
This area does not contain critical desert 
tortoise habitat. The dominant vegetation 
throughout most of the zone is perennial. 
There is high recreation and visitor use, high 
fuel carryover potential, high urban/wildland 



2-39 



m 



Chapter 2 - Proposed Plan and Range of Alternatives 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 2-12. Locations and areas closed to authorization/renewal of material site rights-of-way and to 
mineral materials disposal, solid mineral leasing and subject to segregation and withdrawal of locatable 
minerals. 



Valid-Existing "Closures. 

Amargosa Mcsqtiitc ■ ACEC 6,891 

Arden Historic Sues ACEC **1,595 

Arrow: Canyon Paleontologleal SiteACEC 2,084 
Ash Meadows ACEC 37.152 

Big Dime ACEC 1,920 

Crescent Mining Townsite ACEC 437 

Coyote: Springs ACEC 75,500 

Devil's Throat ACEC *640 

Gold Butle ACEC, Part A /: ",..:. :"::::/?; : ; ;; 1 85 ,469:; 
Gold Butte ACEC, Part B (including 

Gold Butte Townsites) W ^Mm^:U%Mi: 
: Gold: Butte ACEC, Part C (Virgin ; Mtsj 38,431 
Hidden Valley (Muddy Mountains) 
Archaeological. District: ACEC:: 3,360 

Keyhole Canyon Rock Art Site: ACEC 361 

Mormon Mesa ACEC 151,360 

Piute-Eldorado ACEC 329,440 

Rainbow Gardens ACEC . .7: 37,620 

Red: Rock -Spring Archaeological 

Site ACEC *640 



River Mountains ACEC 
Sloan Rock Art Site ACEC 
Stump Spring Prehistoric/Historic 

Site ACEC 
Virgin River Anasazi Prehistoric 

District ACEC 
Whitney Pocket Archaeological 

Complex ACEC 

Desert Tortoise Conservation Center 

Nelhs Dunes Special Recreation 
: : . Management Area ; ■ 

Virgin River riparian zone 
: : Mud.dy.Riyer:;riparian:;z6ne: : : ; 
Within 1/4 mile of natural springs and 
associated riparian zones" 

Total Acres :V: : :::;::;: ; :;:.: : :.; : ; 
(excluding overlaps and existing 
Bureau of Reclamation withdrawals) 



Acres 
5.617 



3,000: 



**Arden Historic Sites ACEC overlaps 475 acres within the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. 

1 Gold Butte ACEC. Part A overlaps Devil's Throat ACEC, Red Rock: Spring ACEC, and Whitney Pockets 



2-40 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 



Introduction 

This chapter describes environmental components of 
the planning area potentially affected by 
implementation of the Proposed Resource 
Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact 
Statement. These include lands, minerals, soils, water 
resources, air quality, vegetation, wildlife habitat, wild 
horses and burros, livestock grazing, paleontological 
and cultural resources, visual resources, recreation, 
wilderness, natural areas, and socio-economic 
conditions. Much of the data contained within this 
chapter is drawn from the more detailed Analysis of 
the Management Situation. The existing data was 
updated where possible to reflect current conditions. 
The data is available for public review at the Las 
Vegas BLM Field Office. 



Physical Description of the Planning Area 

Physiography 

The topography and drainage of Clark County and 
southern Nye County are characteristic of the Basin 
and Range Province, with internally draining basins 
separated by ranges, hills, and mesas. The trend of 
the ranges is not always uniform, but a general north- 
south orientation is apparent. The Las Vegas Valley 
cuts diagonally across much of Clark County, 
following a line of north-trending ridges that bend 
toward the west at the northern end of the valley and 
toward the east in the south. The Grand Wash Cliffs, 
a few miles beyond the eastern edge of Clark County, 
mark the boundary between the Basin and Range 
Province and the Colorado Plateau Province. Most of 
the planning area lies within the Colorado River Basin 
and is externally drained by the Colorado River and 
its tributaries. The remaining portions drain either to 
the Central Region or Death Valley. 

The mountain ranges, generally composed of exposed 
bedrock, are steep and cut by deep ravines. They rise 
abruptly above smooth and gently sloping basin 
floors. Erosional forces transport materials downslope 
from the mountains. This alluvium coalesces into 
extensive fans along the margins of the valleys and 
basins. These deposits are now being actively eroded 
and dissected by many deep gullies. Elevations in the 
planning area range from approximately 11,900 feet 



above sea level at Charleston Peak, the fifth highest 
peak in Nevada, to approximately 500 feet in the 
vicinity of Laughlin. 

Lowlands comprise a large percentage of the total 
surface area. A few of the large valleys, including 
the Muddy and Virgin Valleys, drain into the 
Colorado River system. Others (such as the 
Amargosa Valley, Indian Springs Valley, Dry Lake 
Valley, Eldorado Valley, and the upper portion of the 
Las Vegas Valley) are enclosed basins with no 
external drainage. 

The geologic history of southern Nevada includes 
repeated periods of deposition, uplift, igneous activity, 
and erosion since the Paleozoic, which ended 
approximately 250 million years ago. Thick 
sequences of marine sedimentary deposits 
accumulated throughout Paleozoic and Mesozoic 
times; these strata are exposed in the vividly colored 
formations of the Red Rock Canyon National 
Conservation Area Lands, west of Las Vegas. 

Approximately 50 million years ago, thick volcanic 
materials extruded over broad areas of the region, 
then were uplifted and deformed by faulting. Since 
the mountain-building periods, southern Nevada has 
been geologically quiet, with activity restricted largely 
to depositional and erosional forces. 

Climate 

The climate in the Las Vegas District is characteristic 
of southern Nevada. The Sierra Nevada Range of 
California and the Spring Mountains west of the Las 
Vegas Valley act as a barrier to moisture-laden storms 
moving inland from the Pacific Ocean. Ah masses 
are cooled as they ascend the western slopes of these 
ranges. Precipitation is lost prior to descent of these 
masses into the warmer valleys. The average annual 
precipitation ranges from 4 to 8 inches at lower 
elevations, and from 12 to 20 inches at higher 
elevations. Maximum precipitation normally falls 
between November and March, when an average of 
40 to 60 percent of annual amounts are received. 
Minimum precipitation occurs in May, June, 
September, and October. During July and August, 
thunderstorms are common, contributing between 25 
and 30 percent of annual precipitation. These storms 



3-1 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



■ 



are often of sufficient intensity to produce localized 
flash flooding. 

Evaporation rates are extremely high in southern 
Nevada. The area's high temperatures, low humidity, 
abundant sunshine, and wind cause the amount of 
surface waters lost to exceed precipitation received. 
At Lake Mead, for example, the annual loss is nearly 
20 times the annual gain from precipitation. 

The lowest elevations of the planning area are in the 
Mojave Desert, one of the few genuine hot desert 
areas in the United States. The winters are mild, with 
daytime temperatures reaching an average maximum 
of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures 
averaging 35 to 45 degrees. Summers are hot, with 
daytime maximum temperatures averaging 95-105 
degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperature 
minimums from 70 to 75 degrees. Southern Nevada 
also has a high percentage of sunny days per year; in 
Las Vegas, 85 percent of the year can be expected to 
be sunny. 



Air Resource Management 

Air quality is determined by several factors, including 
landform, amount of contaminants emitted into the 
atmosphere, and meteorological conditions. In 
southern Nevada, stable atmospheric conditions, low 
mixing heights, and light winds during night and 
morning hours provide opportunities for contaminants 
to accumulate. Atmospheric dispersion of pollutants 
generally improves by mid-afternoon. 

The effects of ambient air quality within an air basin 
depend mainly on the characteristics of the receptors 
and the type, amount, and duration of exposure. As 
defined in 40 CFR 50.1(e), ambient air is "that 
portion of the atmosphere, external to buildings, to 
which the general public has access." As required by 
the Clean Air Act and established by the 
Environmental Protection Agency, National Ambient 
Air Quality Standards specify the concentration and 
duration for which pollutants may cause adverse 
health effects. National primary ambient air quality 
standards define levels of air quality, with an adequate 
margin of safety to protect the public health. National 
secondary ambient air quality standards define levels 
of air quality, with an adequate margin of safety, to 
protect the public welfare from any known or 
anticipated adverse effects of a pollutant. Where 
differences in local and national standards exist, the 
more stringent standards apply. The National 



Ambient Air Quality Standards shown in Table 3-1 
were adopted by the State of Nevada and Clark 
County. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
were established for carbon monoxide, nitrogen 
oxides, ozone, particulate matter, sulfur oxides and 
lead. 

Carbon monoxide is produced primarily by incomplete 
fuel combustion in motor vehicles. The major effects 
of carbon monoxide occur near its sources (busy 
streets and freeways). The highest carbon monoxide 
measurements usually occur in the winter when winds 
are light and temperature inversions trap air near the 
ground surface from early evening through mid- 
morning, preventing pollutant dispersal. Traffic peaks 
in early morning and late afternoon produce 
corresponding peaks in carbon monoxide 
concentrations, which is a reoccurring trend 
throughout the year. Although the 1-hour standard for 
carbon monoxide has never been exceeded, the 8- 
hour standard is exceeded on a seasonal basis. 
According to Clark County Comprehensive Planning, 
the overnight buildup of pollutants causes violations 
of the carbon monoxide 8-hour air quality standard in 
a limited area surrounding the East Charleston 
monitoring station. Carbon monoxide has a toxic 
potential to human health. When breathed, carbon 
monoxide impairs oxygen transport, sometimes 
adversely affecting the cardiovascular system and the 
central nervous system. The severity of health 
effects increases with the level and duration of 
exposure (Seinfeld 1986). 

The primary contributor of PM 10 throughout the Las 
Vegas BLM District is fugitive dust, both naturally 
occurring in a desert environment and human caused. 
The latter are largely responsible for excesses of the 
PM 10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards within 
the Las Vegas Valley. The major sources of PM 10 
emissions in the valley are paved and unpaved roads, 
construction activities, industrial/commercial facilities, 
motor vehicle exhaust, and disturbed vacant land. 
Particulate matter less than 10 microns in size is of 
special concern because it is inhaled deep into the 
lungs. The ultimate effects of particles on human 
health are difficult to determine however. There is 
little data available regarding the effects of industrial 
particulates versus those of soil-related dust. Because 
most health studies have examined only fossil fuel 
generated particulates, and most of Las Vegas Valley's 
particulate concentrations are due to soil related dust, 
it is inappropriate at this time to estimate the health 
effects induced by particulate matter concentrations in 
the valley. 



3-2 





Las 


Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 


Table 3-1. Ambient air 


quality standards. 






^ 


Averaging Time 

IT 'AIR QUALITY STANDARDS 




tjvtunnary 


Carbon monoxide (GO 


■ ■ 1 -hour concentration*: . : . 


9 ppm 
35 ppm 




l:Mmmil£^. 


Annual arithmetic mean : ; 
24-hour concentration 3 -■ 


50 ug/m 3 
150 ug/m s 




Sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ) 


; Annual arithmetic mean 

3-hour, concentration 1 


0.03 ppm 
0.14 ppm 




; ■". : Nitrogen diox ide (NO, 


) . ■.;.■■: An nual arithmetic mean 


-■; -.VfUpA pprn 


0.053 ppm 


Awismis : 7T\ \b 




■ ;ii|l|i 




Lead:(Ph) 


Arithmetic mean per 
calendar quarter 


1.5 ug/m 3 




NEVADA AMBIENT 


AIR QUALITY STANDARDS 






Total suspended 
particulates (T5P) 


; Annual, mean. 
; ■ ; I ;24-tiour; cojicentrati on ; 

for Las Vegas Valley 
;;: 24-hour concentration;; ■■; 

elsewhere in. Clark County . 


,;.; 75 ug/m 3 
150 ug/m 3 


75 ug/m 3 
260 ug/m 3 

150 ug/m 3 


Hydrogen sulfide (HS) 


1-hour concentration 


0.08 ppm 


0.08 ppm 


: Visibility 




; Maintain the prevailing . :■■ 
visibility of greater than 

• •'• ■ : ; : 30; miles. : : 




seded more than once per year. 






b The number o 

■ : rnore than one 

ppm: ■■:■■■■ Parts per mill 

ug/m* Micrograms p 


f days with hourly concentrations greater than the standard are 
■e per year, 

er cubic meter 


not to be exceeded 




3-3 















Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FE1S - May 1998 



Ozone is produced through a series of chemical 
reactions. A reaction between reactive hydrocarbons 
and nitric oxides, both of which are primarily emitted 
by motor vehicles, forms nitrogen dioxide and other 
compounds. The formation of nitric oxide and an 
oxygen atom follows the photodissociation of the 
nitrogen dioxide by sunlight. The oxygen atom then 
combines with oxygen molecules to form ozone. 
Ozone is an irritant of the respiratory system. It 
inhibits proper functioning of the lungs and can cause 
symptoms of chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing. 
These symptoms can occur after short-term exposure 
of between 294 and 490 ug/m 3 (Clark County 
Comprehensive Planning 1980). 

Lead is primarily emitted through combustion of 
leaded fuel in motor vehicles. Indications are, 
however, that lead emissions are on the decline due to 
reductions in the use of leaded fuel. Once absorbed 
by the respiratory tract and then into the blood stream, 
lead is accumulated in the kidneys and liver. The 
nervous system may also be effected through 
inhalation of lead in the air (Clark County 
Comprehensive Planning 1980). 

Nitrogen dioxide forms in the high temperature 
combustion of fuels, motor vehicle exhaust and the 
burning of organic wastes. At high concentrations, 
nitrogen dioxide has been shown to cause lung 
damage. The effects at the current levels both indoors 
and outdoors are difficult to characterize (Seinfeld 
1986). 

Sulfur dioxide forms during the combustion of all 
sulfur-containing fuels, such as coal and oil. Effects 
of sulfur dioxide on human health is primarily 
associated with the upper respiratory system, 
particularly in asthmatics. 

Air pollutants not only have the potential to affect 
humans but also other components of the environment 
including, wildlife, fish, and vegetation. Wildlife can 
be affected by air pollutants through inhalation, 
adsorption and/or ingestion. Their populations can be 
directly affected through injury or death or indirectly 
through contamination of their food chain or loss of 
habitat (USFWS 1980). 

Among the several air pollutants that harm vegetation 
are sulfur dioxide, ethane, and peroxyacetyl nitrate. 
Chlorine, hydrogen chloride, mercury, and ammonia 
are also harmful but to a lesser severity. Pollutants 
enter the plant through the stomata during normal 
respiration. Once in the leaf, they destroy chlorophyll 



and disrupt photosynthesis, resulting in damage 
ranging from growth rate reduction to actual death of 
the plant (Cooper 1986). 

Visibility is generally referred to as the relative ease 
with which objects can be seen through the 
atmosphere under various conditions. Particulate 
matter and gases introduced into the atmosphere either 
absorb or scatter the light, reducing the amount of 
light a person can receive from a viewed object. The 
effect is a degraded aesthetic value of surrounding 
landscape. 

The Clean Air Act specifies preventing pollution that 
would interfere with visibility in the mandatory 
Federal Class I areas. Mandatory Federal Class I 
areas refers to international parks; national wilderness 
areas, and memorial parks greater than 5,000 acres in 
size; and national parks greater than 6,000 acres in 
size. Although there are no Class I areas within the 
Las Vegas BLM District, there are such areas located 
downwind. The closest to the planning area is the 
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Others 
include Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion 
National Park , both located in the southern most 
portion of Utah. No current data definitively 
indicates that southern Nevada, and in particular the 
Las Vegas Valley, impacts these parks. The Grand 
Canyon Visibility Transport Commission, which is 
managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and 
the Western Governor's Association, is currently 
investigating visibility-impairing pollutants and then- 
effect on these and other parks and wilderness areas 
of the Colorado Plateau (Shivley 1995). 

According to the Clark County Health District, a haze 
day is classified as an average reading for one hour or 
more between 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM when the 
visual range is less than 12 miles. If the visual range 
for one hour is less than 4.8 miles, haze is considered 
to be intense. The highest haze levels tend to occur 
in late fall and winter when night and morning 
inversions are most frequent and stagnant conditions 
exist. Currently, visibility is measured in two 
locations in the valley (metropolitan Las Vegas and 
Henderson). The greatest number of haze days 
recorded at these locations for a one-year period was 
194 and 157, respectively. The greatest number of 
intense haze days for a one -ear period was 93 and 
30, respectively. Data gathered to date indicates 
visibility improvement in Henderson and a 
deterioration in Las Vegas. At this time, there is no 
visibility standard for the rest of Clark County. 



-A 



I 



3-4 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-2. Las Vegas Valley estimated emissions (tons/year) by source categories for 1993. 



Source Category 

Stationary Point Sources" 
Stationary : Area : Sources b 



23,456 



4,34 



VOC 



12,650 



On-Road Mobile Sources' 
Non-Road Mobile Sources 



156,777 



Tota 



Key: 
PM l0 
C0 

voc 

iitl 



2S22 



10 microns in size. 



20,317 

3,883 

37,861 



Particulate: Matter less 

■Carbon monoxide 

■Oxides of nitrogen 

Volatile organic compounds : 

Siilfur dioxide; : . : 

Generally, any stationary source for which individual; records are colic 

sources are usually defined as any facility which releases more than -a 



22 564 



38.2 



iod amount of a 



b An aggregation of stauonaty sources: too small, difficult, or numerous to cl as 

• : : ; : The area source : emissions :are; assumed : to; be; spread :over a: bjro ad ; ;area. : ; . : : 

c Any moving source of air pollutants utilizing roadways such as automobiles. 

d Any moving source of air pollutants: not utilizing roadways such as aircraft. 1 

: :cftnstruction equipment, ;; 

[Source: Clark. County Health District, Hock, 1995; Clark County Comprehensive PI a 

and Nevada Department of Environmeiital.:Protection.Branmueller, 1995] 



is point sources. 



3-5 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-3. Estimated emissions (tons/year) of primary sources outside the Las Vegas Valley for 1993. 



Source 


■ VM '■'■'■'■ 




11111111 


NO x 




Reid-Gardner Power Plant 4 


: 2,397.69 






■8,739.92;:;: 


: 9,651.96 


Mojave Generating Station 5 


: 2,505,21 


: .:,—. ■:■■■■■:■ : 


■■: —-■:■■ :'■ 


21,703.87: 


35,852 ::: 


. Chemical Lime Company 


'.; : : ;272.3 :; :£ 


259.5 


::?:8 ;■ . 


363.3 


138.6 


PABCO Gypsum 












Watlboard Plant 




261.3 


7 


93.4 




LASCO Bathware 







293.8 







Gornowich Sana and Gravel 


5 




■ ,'■■'. ^-.^;:;": : ;; 


■:: : !!;:";:"i^": ' : - '.- ' : 




Royal Cement Co. Inc. 


U3.3 


32 


.'.,„ .'.... 


lllllllllllllls 


63.9 . . 


Charles C. Heisen Associates 


: 7 - 5 


-~ 


.:";■-- -Uy.^ : :V::; : ;:x- : : : - 


vv::*--.::,': 


::./ ._^; -: 


Las Vegas Paving 












■■■■■: Corporation (APEX) 








84 2 




Western Ash Company 










. ..__-■ ■ 


APEX Waste Mgnt Center 












Environmental Technologies 












Solid Waste Landfill 












APEX Waste Mgnt. Center 












Environmental Technologies 












Soil Remediation Facility 


3.5 




18.4 


3.3 .V-.. : : ;;;;:.:; 




Kern River Gas 












Transmission Company : 


1.16 




6.5 






■ : Georgia Pari fi c Mine : : 


40.06 




... 


... 


'.■x -.-■:'■.':'.:':■'' 


Georgia Pacific Wallboard Plant : 






: .---■r ;:;.; ;:; : : : ':; 


63.9 


:: 8 . ■;:;.:■':■:; 


Colorado Belle Hotel/Casino 


M tii; -v. : ;;: 




:':': fl 'i 







Total 



5,564.1 



,342v 



31,769.49 



■45;' 



Key: 

: sa :"■'■: : 



1994 emissions 



PM l0 

CO 

NO x 



SGs 



Particulate Matter: less than 10 microns in size. 
Carbon monoxide 
Oxides of nitrogen 



VOC Volatile: organic compounds 



Sulfur dioxide 



[Source: Clark County Health District, Hoch 
BranmueOct; 1995] 



ind Nevada Department of Environmental Protect 



3-6 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Air quality is generally considered acceptable if 
pollutant levels are less than or equal to established 
standards on a continuous basis, as is the case for 
those areas lying outside Las Vegas Valley. These 
areas are characterized by a sparse population and 
few pollution sources. The Las Vegas Valley, 
however, presently exceeds standards for inhalable 
particulate matter (PM 10 ) and carbon monoxide and, 
consequently, has been termed a non-attainment area 
(an area that exceeds any national ambient air quality 
standards). Map 3 -4a identifies the boundary of the 
Las Vegas Valley Non-Attainment Area. Table 3-2 
identifies source categories and amounts of emissions 
within the Las Vegas Valley. 

Although air quality outside the Las Vegas Valley is 
in conformance with the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards, there are several primary sources 
of pollutant emissions. These sources, along with the 
amounts of pollutants they produce are identified in 
Table 3-3. The largest contributors are the two power 
generating stations, Reid Gardner Power Plant in the 
northeastern part of the planning area at Moapa, 
Nevada and the Mojave Generating Station in the far 
southern part of the planning area at Laughlin, 
Nevada. According to 1994 data, the Reid Gardner 
Power Plant emits 2,398 tons of PM 10 , 8,740 tons of 
NO x and 9,652 tons of S0 2 annually. The Mojave 
Generating Station is the largest pollutant source with 
2,505 tons of PM 10 , 21,704 tons of NO x and 35,852 
tons of S0 2 emitted annually. 



Soils Management 

Throughout the Las Vegas District, there is a sharp 
contrast in physiography between mountainous areas 
and interior lowlands. Soils in the region developed 
vmder different environmental influences. Under the 
arid conditions that prevail at all except the highest 
elevations, the soil has little downward leaching. 
Most leaching is confined to the translocation of 
soluble material (usually lime) from the surface to the 
subsoil, with the resultant formation of a hardpan. 
These soluble salts are usually leached only to a depth 
of 1 to 2 feet. 

In this climate, rocks tend to disintegrate rather than 
decompose. Mechanical breakdown (spalling) is more 
common than chemical action. As a result, mountains 
are covered with a thin veneer of rock fragments. 
Cloud bursts and showers sweep large quantities of 
this material into ravines and valleys, forming alluvial 



fans of the coarser material. Finer-grained sediments 
are washed into the lowlands. 

Wind is also an active agent in soil movement. 
Wind-blown sand is common, with the greatest 
accumulations in the lower valleys, often forming 
dunes. Wind-blown silts, mixed with the fine 
alluvium washed down from the slopes, comprises the 
soil mantle of the valleys. The term "blow sand" 
arises from the fact that much of the surface soil is 
wind-deposited. 

Organic matter in most desert soils is far less than the 
average 3 to 5 percent by weight contained in soils 
formed in humid regions. Even in a wet year when 
spring annuals are abundant, much of the vegetative 
matter is oxidized by summer heat before it can be 
turned into humus. A gravelly surface referred to as 
"desert pavement" is found throughout the pl annin g 
area. This surface is stable and resistant to erosion. 
Erosion is normally active on surfaces lacking a desert 
pavement. The sparse cover of vegetation does little 
to reduce wind and water velocities. Wind erosion is 
a major factor in recharging surface soils with 
carbonates through the movement and deposition of 
calcareous dusts. 

Soils in the Las Vegas BLM District are primarily 
Entisols and Aridisols; a few Mollisols occur at the 
upper elevation of mountain ranges and on high 
plateaus. These are described in detail below. The 
Entisols have little or no evidence of development of 
pedogenic horizons. They are located in areas where 
soils are actively eroding (steep slopes) or receiving 
new deposits of soil materials (alluvial fans and 
floodplains). 

Aridisols have one or more pedogenic horizons that 
may have formed in the present environment, or that 
may be relics from a former pluvial period. These 
soils do not have water available to plants for long 
periods of time and the surface is generally bare. 
Aridisols are often associated with desert pavement. 

Mollisols are the very dark colored, base rich soils of 
high elevations. A few Mollisols are found high in 
the Spring Mountains and the Sheep Range. They 
may also occur above approximately 5,000 feet in the 
Virgin Mountains, the Gold Butte area, and at other 
locations where environmental conditions permit 
accumulation of organic materials. 



3-7 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Soil Erosion 

Soil erosion involves two processes: (1) a detachment 
or loosening influence, and (2) transportation by 
means of floating, rolling, dragging, and splashing. 
Freezing and thawing; flowing water; and rain impact 
provide the detaching agents. Raindrop splash and 
especially running water facilitate the carrying away 
of loosened soil. On comparatively smooth soil 
surfaces, the beating of rain drops results in most of 
the detachment. 

During the high intensity, short duration 
thunderstorms common in the region, raindrop 
impact tends to destroy soil aggregates, enhance sheet 
and rill erosion, and encourage considerable 
transportation by splashing. A hard crust often 
develops upon drying. This crust impedes seedling 
emergence, greatly reduces infiltration for the next 
storm, and limits the possibilities for vegetative 
shielding which, by absorbing the energy of rain 
impact, prevents loss of both water and soil and 
reduces degranulation to a minimum. However, in 
some desert locations, this surface crust does cover 
loose, fine soil particles, resulting in limited protection 
from wind erosion. In the vegetation types offering 
generally sparse cover, little interception of 
precipitation or protection from overland flow of 
water occurs. 

As is the case with water erosion, the loss of soil by 
wind movement also involves detachment and 
transportation. The abrasive action of the wind results 
in some detachment of tiny soil grains from the 
granules or clods of which they are a part. When the 
wind is laden with soil particles, its abrasive action is 
greatly increased. The impact of these rapidly 
moving grains dislodges other particles from soil 
clods and aggregates. The cutting and abrasive 
effects, especially of sand, upon tender leaves and 
vegetation is harmful. 

Erosion susceptibility is a measure of the erosion 
potential of a soil whose surface has been disturbed. 
Wind and water erosion potential are used to 
determine susceptibility in an area. Soil surveys 
conducted by the Soil Conservation Service, now the 
National Resource Conservation Service, were used to 
develop erosion susceptibility ratings for the planning 
area (see Map 3-2). 

All of the Las Vegas BLM District is within the low- 
to- moderate susceptibility range, with the exception 
of a few relatively small areas rated as high in the 



northeast. Approximately 90,550 acres in the 
planning area have a high erosion susceptibility rating; 
1,306,620 acres have a moderate rating; and 1,480,440 
acres have a low rating. 

Wind erosion potential is classified as low, moderate, 
or high. Soils with a Natural Resources Conservation 
Service wind erodibility group rating of 1 or 2 are 
classified as high. A moderate rating is given to soils 
with a wind erodibility group rating of 3 or 4, and a 
rating of slight is given to soils with a wind 
erodibility rating of 5 or more. 

Each soil also has a high, moderate, or low water 
erodibility rating. The "K" value is the soil 
erodibility factor used in the Universal Soil Loss 
Equation for estimating erosion. This value is 
derived from data collected in Natural Resources 
Conservation Service soil survey field notes and is 
primarily a combination of soil surface texture, 
structure, and organic matter content modified with 
cover such as rock fragments. It is always less than 
1.0. Soils with a high "K" value have a soil texture 
that is more erodible than one with a low "K" value. 
In general, if the slope multiplied by the "K" value of 
a soil is 2.5 or less, the soil is in the slight erosion 
hazard category. If the slope times the "K" value is 
between 2.5 and 7.5, the soil is rated as having a 
moderate erosion hazard, and values above 7.5 will 
place the soil into the severe hazard category. It is 
emphasized that these break points are only general 
guidelines and are not the only factors used to place a 
soil in an erosion susceptibility class. For example, a 
soil with a slope times "K" value of 2.4 may be 
placed in either a slight or moderate erosion hazard 
class, depending on information provided in soil 
survey field notes. This soil would not, however, be 
classified as having a severe water erosion potential. 

Erosion condition data was compiled from several 
inventories, including the BLM Watershed 
Conservation and Development program (1977) and 
the BLM Clark County Range Survey (1979). 
Determinations of a soil surface factor were used to 
portray the erosion condition of an area. Erosion 
condition ranges from slight to critical, with most of 
the area falling into the slight to moderate erosion 
condition classes (see Map 3-3). There are 96,994 
acres in critical erosion condition; 1,137,968 in 
moderate erosion condition; 1,286,420 in slight erosion 
condition; and 36,970 acres in stable erosion 
condition. The remainder is undetermined. These 
erosion condition classes are defined as follows: 



3-8 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-4. Erosion Susceptibility classes and acreage within Grazing Allotments, Herd Management 
Areas, Right-of-way Corridors and Competitive ORV Areas. 



GRAZING AL 

Action Farrier 
Arrow Canyon 
Azure Ridge 
Billygoat Peak 
Black Butte 
Bunkerville 
■Christmas; Tree 
Crescent Peak 
Dry Lake 
Flat Top Mesa 
Glendale 
Gold Butte 
Hen Springs 
Hidden Valley 
Ireteba Peaks 
Jackrabhit 
Jean Lake 
Kyle Canyon 
Lime Sprains 



Mesa Cliff 
Mesqxute C 
Muddy Mot 



nanWelt: 



Mount Stirling 

: Rox : ;: : ;'■ 

South Point 
Spring Mountai 
Stump: Springs 
Sunrise Mounta 
Table Moimtair. 



EROSION SUSCEPTIBILITY CLASS 


Low 






52,404 




4,161 


^0,5/4'' 


25,304 


.29,792 




41,969 


64,137 1 


42,741 


21;028;;:: 


: : :::62,450 


54i517 


■■ ; ; V\ 7,474 ;■'; v 


19,267 


; :■: L375 


: 2.149 


:;:::;;;; 2^11 


8,591 1 


107,083 


62,169 




; i5;i7o: :::::;: 


:Sl8 t 109 


■ 43,258 


; 90,991* 


119,421* 


47 




56,320 


■ 75,852- : 


11.941 


13,171 




4,119 




34,798 


:■■ 72,973 V 


26,910 


113,385* 


■160,819* 


1,060 


6,464 


■;: ; :::;:;L474 


x- 7,740 ::: : :V:::- ■■ 


52,105 


: 115,619 




V::L244:V>v : 


WB:MM:B: 


13,140 




1,723... 




3,209 




1,135 




8,282 


;■ 529 


17,155 


10,057 


1,883 


171,834 




:■ i 47,612: : 


2,895 


■::-::; 25,628 ' : 


19,203 


;;;x : :44,532:-:- 


;; 39,512 ■ 


: :;:;;:;;;5,477 . ;; 


■■'■;■■ 18,171 


9,679 


34,443 



3,980 



1,365 



3-9 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-4. Erosion Susceptibility classes and acreage within Grazing Allotments, Herd Management 
Areas, Right-of-way Corridors and Competitive ORV Areas (concluded). 



i'l 



U>Ujr: ALjLdXJi IV 



Ute 

Wheeler ■Slope//;: / ;' 
Wheeler Wash 
White Basin 

YOUntS Spring ;;;; ; 

5555: (Indian Springs) 
6666 (River Mountains) 
7777 (Las Vegas Valley) 
9999 (Lake Mead NRA) 
Virgin Rivet Bottom 
Carson Slough 
: ; ;C^nty|LineS:::;;:; : :! : ;; 
Grapevine-Rock Valley 

Totals: 

* : Includes Eldorado Dispos 

HERD MANAGEMENT AREA 





TBIL1TY CLAS 




Moderate 


8.935 


33,683 


63,103 


wmmm 


49.259 


16.027 


41,330 


47,751 . 


16,211: : 




38,711 ; 


■ 2,844 ■■■■■■-■ 


1.252: 


5,140: -• 


97,918 


28,238- 



,396,782 



3,82 



9,769 
8848 



Ash Meadows 

Totals: 

RIGIIT-QF^VAY CO! 
Totals: 

COMPETITIVE ORV 
Totals: 



03,642 
82,761 
41,962 


. 15^492 

,:, : 66>425; 

M 22,377 

34,352 




138,646 

: 40,505 


72,485 
535,900 


40,505 

247,168 



L79: 



97,07- 



280,023 



40,55: 



;! 



ssmn 



247,168 



3-10 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-5. Erosion Condition classes and acreage within Grazing Allotments, Herd Management Areas, 
Right-of-way Corridors and Competitive ORV Areas. 



Stable 



Action Farrier 
Arrow; Canyon : 
Azure Ridge 
Billygoat Peak 
Black Butte 
Bunkerville : 
Christmas Tree Pass 
Crescent Peak 
Dry Lake 

Flat Tbp Mesa : , 
Glendale^ : ^-^;S; 
GoldButte^ : : v 
Hen Springs 
Hidden Valley 
Ireteba: Peaks*; 
Jaekr^bit;: ' 

Jean take: ■ 

Kyle Canyon 
Lime Springs 
Lower Mormon Mesa 
Lucky Strike 
McCullough Mountain* 
Mesa;ciiff ■■^■■^■;^}i 

Mesquite Community 
Muddy Mountain 



3,933 



2,343 



Mount Stirling 
Rox 

Souto Point: ; : 
Spring Mountain 
Stump Springs 
: Sunrise Mountain 
Table Mountain 
ToquopSheep ■;; 
Upper Mormon Mesa 
Ute 
Wheeler Slope 



3,152 



10,387 



>N CONDITION CLASS 

Moderate Critical Undetermii 



1&65S 



::20 I 





:: :■■ 9,756 








13,787 






.■: . AipOQ: : ' ' 


■'. 833 


;*X«OD-Q ■■ 




6,193 


11,677 


: ; :; :4;448;;;;;:::: 




74,717 


77,636 


2 489 




12,153 


;:;:;:; ::;9;27l; : ' : V 






30,148 








68,115 










: : : 45,083 ;,: : 




2,739 


6.586 


16,791 




724 ■ ■ 


4,119 








35,136 


i;S6,883: : ■■ V 


771 




79,223 


15,014 




3 249 


123,012 


76,659 


1.148 


21,039 


2,123 


1,102 


8,422 




7,448 


4,745 






68,735:::: 


54,807: 


8302 


■ : SmmM: 


6,167 


4,119 




4,080 






3,492; 


1,328 


'. A.: /CO 

16,084 








249 








13,971 


: ■ - 2 : 233 : : - 




2.384 
123,724 


OjOXjD ■■■■■' 






1300 


110,235 


99,863 




:;:;; 15,523 


17,174 


: ,34,334 : ; : 






5,237;;;;:;:: 






41,140 


33303;:;;; i 


50,409 




4,347 


24,404 








14,824 






;; ; :; :: : : 7v952 : ; 


21, 821 : : 




653 


7,762 
4,616 



3-11 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-5. Erosion Condition classes and acreage within Grazing Allotments, Herd Management Areas, 
Right-of-way Corridors and Competitive ORV Areas (concluded). 



GRAZING ALLOTMEr* 

Wheeler: Wash . 
White Basin ; ;;■; 
:YountsSpring; :::::.: 
5555 (Indian Springs) 
6666 (River Mountains) 
7777 (Las Vegas Valley) 
9999 (Lake Mead NRA)* 
Virgin River Bottom 
CarsOU: Slough: : : ; : : 

Grapevine-Rook Valley 







CLASS 




w 1 s nt 


Moderate 


Critical Ur 


SefermuMsd 


44,412 


13,021 




&S0§m 


11,659 


33,250 




■-:■: ■;: 40,336:. 


13,157 


2,257:: 






Oyi Q&& 


1A 3TT 




10,749 

4,080 

99,288 

V ■: 90 

' 10,236 

9,438 

12,966 



Totals: 22,305 1,278,282 593,486 80,930 519,706 
:*■::: Includes Eldorado Disposal Area 

'* * "■ ■ ■ '■; All MPS administered: :' : 

HERD MANAGEMENT AREA 

■ Araargosa ■ ■■■■■■■-' ■ ■ :: :::::: ::9,460 

Eldorado 3,1 65 : 10,615 : : :- 1,469 348 

Gold Butte 60,833 : 84,849 : 8,994 15,405 

Johnnie r:? .:::::: :...: 57,721 ; 15,916 179,261 

Muddy Moun tains;:::; 13,671 : : : ; 35i866 3,416 19,727 

Ash Meadows 98,419 



RIGHT-OF-WAY CORRIDORS 



135,390 147*246 



490 64,736 : 36,758 3,691 35,481 



Total: 490 64,736 36,758 3,691 35,481 



EAS 

5,722 389,848 217,511 28,742 241,165 



241,165 



3-12 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-6 Potential Soil loss estimates (tons per year). 



grazing Allotment 

Acton Farrier 
Arrow Canyon 
Azure Ridge 
Billygoat Peak 
Black: Butte 
BunkerviHe 
Christmas Tree. Pass 
Crescent Peak 
Dry Lake : 
Flat Top Mesa 
GJendale: - : ;. - 
Gold Butte 

:Hen Springs ;:::::■■ 

Hidden: Valley;; 
Ireteba Peaks 

Jean Lake 

Kyle: Canyon 
Lime Springs 



Idy Mounta 



Newberry Mountains 
Overten Arm ::■:: 
Pittmari/Well::: : 
•j^si^ef;Washx;;;p;.v 
RoacfiLake ::1 
Rox 

South Point x 

Spring Mountain 
Stump: Springs 
Sunrise Mountain 
Table Mountain 
Tpquop;: Sheep .-:■ 
Upper Mormon Mesa 
■lite ■.:.; 1 
Wheeler Slope 



Acres of Use 

1,750 
1320 

i 0,320 

11,200 

37,840 

39,900 

104,160 

7,360 

5,000 

12,160 

74,440 

19,830 

20,670 

109,920 

1 5,600: 

88,320 

13,440 

;lli;lll:iiio:- : 

39,200 

114,560 

6,500 

48,000 
3,200 

■: :# : : 24,320 

1 0*880 

13,440 

3,300 

6,400 

11,520 

10,560 

3,500 

■19,840; 

8,960 

44Sft 



Soil Loss 
Natural 

: 376 



8.277 

iiiii 

17,709 
17.795 

56,767 
2.517 

< 705 

iiiiiii: 

58,138 
21,020 
■ 9,798, 
49,024 
638 
40.362 
5.107 

4,829 

74,206 

51,094 

1,879 

18,288 

506 

6.129: 

14,899 

272 

iiiiiii 

432 

iiiiiii 

2.097 

8,459 

11! 6621: 
5,27-7 

3,987 

977:: 
12,282 
2,307 



Soil Loss Soil Loss 

With Grazing From Grazing 



41 



56,871 

;: '0\ WM. 



21,119 

666 

40,451 
' ; : *<: t^jt ■ 



51, 



3,987 

; 1; 1 gO|; 

2,307 



3-13 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-6. Potential Soil loss estimates (concluded). 



Graz 



Loss Soil Lo: 



5555 ( 


Indian Swings) 


6666 C 


River Mountains ) 


7777 C 


Las Vegas Vaile) 


9999 ( 




Virgin 






'Line 


Grapes 


'ine-Roek Valley 



- : -Q,*rv/U : 



2,213 



1,038,91 



593^805 



SQA, QQS; 



Acres 



Soil Loss 
Natural 



Ash Meadows 



3,325 



27,4:56 'J.-1-fiy. 

14,207 ■ 14,20' 



129,344 



l 



Development 



Disturbec 



Soil Loss : 

With Mineral From 



3-14 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Stable (0-20) - There are no signs of soil 
movement. Surface litter is usually accumulating 
in place. Surface rock, if present, will be evenly 
distributed over the area. No pedestaling, rills, or 
flow patterns are apparent. Gullies may be 
present in a stable condition. 

Slight (21-40) - Some movement of soil particles 
and surface litter is apparent. Surface rock may 
be present but collection of small particles may 
be spotty. No pedestals are apparent. Rills less 
than one-half inch deep occur at infrequent 
intervals of more than ten feet. Visible flow 
patterns have been formed by surface water. 
Deposition of pavement particles may appear in 
flow patterns. Gullies may be present, but with 
little evidence of streambank or streambed 
erosion. 

Moderate (41-60) - Moderate movement of soil is 
plainly visible and recent. Moderate movement 
can be recognized by slight terracing caused by 
the accumulation of material deposited against 
litter, vegetation or rocks. The terraces will 
generally be less than one inch in height. 
Moderate movement of litter is apparent. Some 
surface rock may be exposed in bare spots where 
fine soil particles have been recently removed by 
wind and/or water. Small rocks and plants on 
pedestals occurring in the flow patterns may be 
noticed. Small rills are apparent in exposed 
places. These rills will be between 0.5 and 6 
inches deep at intervals of approximately 10 feet. 
Sediment deposits are visible intermittently in 
flow patterns and against small obstructions 
elsewhere. 

Critical (61-80) - The soil mantle is in a critically 
eroded condition. Soil movement occurs with 
each runoff. Transported soil and debris caused 
by wind and water is deposited throughout the 
area against minor surface obstructions. Extreme 
movement of litter is apparent. Recent exposure 
of surface rock is common on gravelly and stony 
soils. Small rocks and plants on pedestals are 
generally evident and roots are exposed. Large 
rills are apparent on exposed areas. Flow patterns 
contain easily noticeable silt and sand deposits 
and alluvial fans. Actively eroding gullies are 
present on 10-50 percent of the area being 
considered. 

Severe (81-100) - Subsoil is exposed over much 
of the area. Embryonic dunes and wind-scoured 



depressions may be evident. Only minimal traces 
of surface litter remain. Surface rock or fragments 
are dissected by rills and gullies. Most rocks and 
plants are pedestaled, and rocks are exposed. Flow 
patterns are numerous and readily noticeable, 
showing large barren fan deposits. Large rills are 
apparent on exposed areas at intervals of less than 
five feet. Actively eroding gullies are present on 
more than 50 percent of the area. 

Tables 3-4 and 3-5 show the Erosion Susceptibility 
and Erosion Condition Classes within various use 
areas. These include grazing allotments, wild horse 
and burro Herd Management Areas, rights-of-way, 
and competitive off -road vehicle areas. 

Soil loss, both naturally occurring and that resulting 
from land uses, was estimated using the Revised 
Universal Soil Loss Equation (see Table 3-6). This 
equation is a revision and update of the time tested 
Universal Soil Loss Equation. The equation is stated 
asA = RKLSCP where A is annual soil loss 
from sheet and rill erosion caused by rainfall and its 
associated overland flow, R is the factor for climatic 
erosivity, K is the factor for soil erodibility, L is the 
factor for slope length, S is the factor for slope 
steepness, C is the factor for cover management, and 
P is the factor for support practices. These factors 
represent the effect of climate, soil, topography, and 
land use on sheet and rill erosion. 



Water Resource Management 

The planning area contains portions of three 
hydrographic regions or basins: the Central Region, 
the Colorado River Basin, and the Death Valley 
Basin. As shown in Table 3-7, these three regions are 
further divided into 29 hydrographic areas that are 
totally or partially within the planning area (Map 3- 
4b). 

The Central Region is a topographically closed 
drainage system primarily located in Nevada. The 
eight hydrographic areas within this region are, for the 
most part, internally drained. 

All but three of the 15 hydrographic areas within the 
Colorado River Basin are tributary to the Colorado 
River. Garnet Valley (area 216) and Hidden Valley 
(area 217) are topographically closed, but are totally 
surrounded by areas that drain to the Colorado River. 
The southern part of Three Lakes Valley (area 211), 
the third non-contributing hydrographic area, 



3-15 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-7. Hydrographic areas. 




Central Region > 

161 Indian Springs Valley 


Colorado River Basin 

205 ■:: Lower Meadow: Valley Wash 



Mesquite 



164a 

164b 


Ivanpah Valley - Northern Part 
Ivanpah Valley - Southern Part 
::Jean -Lake; Valley ■ : .-■ 
Hidden Valley South 
^dorado VaUey; :::; 


Death Valley Basin 

225;: : : : Mercury Valley : ; 
226 Rock Valley 
227a Forty-Mile Canyon- 
Rats 


Jackass: 


230 


: Amargosa: Desert 





211 
Part 

212: 



215 
216 
217 



220 
222 



Three 



o.te ; Spring ' 



Lakes V alle y -Southern 



Las Vegas > 

Colorado River Valley 

Piute Valley 

Black Mountains Area 

Garnet Valley 

Hidden: Valley - North Part 

Muddy River Springs Area 
: Lower Moapa Valley 
Virgin River Valley 
Gold Butte Area 
Greasewood Basin 
Oasis Valley 



discharges flood water out of Lee Canyon onto an 
alluvial fan. Depending on which channel the flood 
water enters, the flow goes either to the Colorado 
River or to the dry lake within the southern part of 
Three Lakes Valley. 

Within the Las Vegas BLM District, six hydrographic 
areas occur within the Death Valley Basin. These are 
all tributary to Death Valley in California. 

Surface Water 

Surface water sources are far less abundant than 
groundwater in the planning area. There are only four 
major perennial streams (greater than 0.5 mile in 
length)on public lands: Meadow Valley Wash, Muddy 
River, Virgin River, and the Las Vegas Wash. All of 
these streams are in the Colorado River drainage. 
Meadow Valley Wash originates in Lincoln County 
and joins the Muddy River near Glendale, Nevada. It 
is characterized by peak flows in February and March 
when snow melt occurs. Mean annual flow, measured 
at the Rox gaging station, is recorded at 3.39 cubic 
feet per second (cfs) with a peak flow of 1,620 
recorded in 1993 and a low flow of 0.14 cfs in 1987 
for the period of record (Emett 1993). 

Peremiial flow in the Muddy River originates in 
springs located southeast of Arrow Canyon, a distance 
of approximately 25 miles from Lake Mead. Mean 



annual flow, measured at the Glendale gaging station, 
is 44 cfs, with a recorded low flow of 7.6 cfs (1964) 
and peak flow of 16,400 cfs in 1981 (Emett 1993). 

The Virgin River is fed by tributaries from the Tule 
Desert, Beaver Dam, and Sand Hollow Washes, as 
well as many drainages in the Virgin and Mormon 
Mountains. Streamflow of the Virgin River is 
measured at a gaging station in Littlefield, Arizona 
and shows a mean annual stream flow of 241 cfs, 
peak flow of 61,000 cfs and a low flow of 38 cfs 
(Emett 1993). Within Nevada, the river is intermittent 
with no flow in some sections during certain times of 
the year. The gaging station at Riverside has minimal 
records but indicates a mean annual flow of 309 cfs 
and peak and low flows of 17,400 cfs and cfs 
respectively (Emett 1993). The Virgin River, due to 
the amount of its flow as well as its proximity to Las 
Vegas Valley, is being considered as a possible water 
supply to help meet the ever growing water demands 
of the Las Vegas Valley. 

Las Vegas Wash is supplied with water from springs, 
runoff channeled during rams, and water from the Las 
Vegas Sewage Treatment Plant. Heaviest flow occurs 
during the winter months, when the most precipitation 
falls and evapotranspiration rates are lowest. Mean 
annual flow has been measured at 57.6 cfs, with a 
peak discharge of 6,510 cfs recorded in 1975 and a 
low flow of 4.8 cfs in 1960 (Emett 1993). 



I 



:.; 



3-16 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Numerous ephemeral washes transect the planning 
area, conveying flows only after storms. High 
intensity thunderstorms often produce rapid runoff and 
"flash" flooding, which can result in floodwater and 
sediment damage within the region. Most damage on 
BLM-administered lands is in the form of gully 
cutting and sheet erosion. Destruction on state and 
private lands is more severe, including damage to 
roads and highways, croplands, and residential areas. 
Loss of life has occurred in some areas from the 
flooding. 

Flash flooding, which is on the increase, usually 
occurs from tropical depressions out of the south or 
southwest. The increase in this flooding can be 
attributable to both increased recording of flood 
events, as well as a result of population growth 
expanding into previously undeveloped areas (USDI 
BLM 1990). In an effort to improve the long-term 
safety of the public and protection of property from 
flooding, the Clark County Regional Flood Control 
District is implementing a master plan program that 
includes siting, design and installation of flood control 
facilities. Most of the existing and proposed control 
facilities, including detention basins and conveyances, 
are located on public land. 

Springs are important water sources in the Las Vegas 
BLM District. The Las Vegas District Water 
Resource Inventory identified 149 springs on public 
lands within the boundaries of the Las Vegas BLM 
District. Table 3-9 lists the locations and discharge 
for each spring source. The average flow of these 
springs is 5.5 gallons per minute (gpm), with some 
springs being nothing more than a seep area with no 
discernible flow, and others measuring as high as 75 
gpm. 

Ground Water 

The importance of ground water is obvious in this 
region of few surface water sources. With the 
exception of communities that obtain water from 
major surface water sources such as the Colorado 
River, developments are restricted by the availability 
of suitable ground water supplies. Table 3-8 presents 
ground water statistics for the 29 hydrographic areas 
within the planning area, including recharge and 
interbasin flows. The most developed and utilized 
water-bearing stratum is valley fill alluvium. 
Although numerous springs are associated with 
carbonate rock or sandstone layers, development of 
these aquifers is relatively difficult. The carbonate 
rock system is composed of primarily limestone and 



dolomite deposited during the period that the area was 
covered by water. The rocks are usually very 
fractured and locally contain solution channels 
(openings that occur from the dissolving of soluble 
materials by water moving through pre-existing 
interstices or fractures). The carbonate system is 
regional in nature and provides an avenue for 
interbasin flow. The ability of the carbonate aquifers 
to store and transmit water is known to differ 
depending on location, but characteristics of the 
carbonate aquifers are largely undetermined at this 
time. The permeability of sandstone is much less 
than the valley fill alluvium releasing its stored water 
very slowly. The carbonate aquifer, as well as the 
alluvial aquifers of several hydrographic basins, are 
currently being reviewed by water purveyors within 
the Las Vegas Valley as an alternative to meeting 
future water demands. 

Depth to water varies throughout the planning area, 
but can be generally characterized as ranging from at 
or near the surface to several thousand feet, as in the 
case of the carbonate system. 

Most ground water recharge in southern Nevada is 
derived from winter and spring precipitation, which 
represents approximately 50 percent of the total 
annual precipitation. The moisture is stored in 
snowpack, at elevations of 7,000 to 8,000 feet and 
higher. Precipitation reaches the groundwater 
reservoirs by way of streams, which eventually 
discharge onto alluvial aprons, or by infiltrating 
directly into consolidated rock and percolating 
vertically and laterally to the valley fill aquifer. 
Additional inflow is received from localized intense 
storms and ground water discharge from adjacent 
areas. Such interbasin movement is described in 
Table 3-8. Natural discharge of ground water in the 
basins occurs as a result of transpiration from 
phreatophytes (deeply rooted plants that obtain water 
from the water table or the soil layer just above it), 
spring discharge, evaporation from bare soil, 
interbasin flow, and base flow to streams such as the 
Virgin River, Muddy River, and Las Vegas Wash. 

As is the case throughout most areas of the arid West, 
water is a limited resource in southern Nevada and its 
availability is impacted by human population growth. 
Of the 29 hydrographic basins wholly or partially 
within the Las Vegas BLM District, all have 
committed resources which exceed perennial yield 
(Coche 1995). These basins, including Las Vegas 
Valley, are in a water overdraft situation. 



3-17 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-8. Groundwater Statistics. 



Key: 
'(Mix 



large 



Ground water Inflo 





10,000 


22,000 


158,168,211 


162 


37,000 






163 


1,400 






164: : : : 


2,200 




— 


165 






:": ] ^4 


166 


: <1 00 


:.:■::::...„.:. 


— - 


167 : 


1,100 


: ; ;: : :Minor : 




205: 


1,500 


Minor 






24Q0 


£;';.;; 35,000: : 


209,169B 

::::::::: : : 206,212 


211 




5,000 




Wt&mi 


: ;: : 30,000 


."."■."■'Minor. '■':. 


165,166 


213: WM 


1,100* 


WM$$MJI^ 


167 


River 








214 -. : WM 


1,200* 


. . — 




215 


<100 


1,200 


.:. : 212 


216 : : 






217 


217 




„■-■. 


.:.::.:.::■.: :..... 


218 


'.■^.^:y ■** J- \}\S - ■ ' ■■■ 


■8,000 


: 216,205 




<100 


: : : : :: : : : 37,000: 


210 


220 


<100 


Minor 


:::::: 01$ 


222; ;::■■. 


3.600 






223 - :: ::: : : 


1,000* 






224 


000* 


... 


— 


.Jfriis).V 


■ -.'- " 2.\J\J ■:■ 


x-i ri^:::::::.:. . . ---:: 1; 


iLi 


226 


<1Q0 


■■Minor::: 


227A 


227 : ■■: 


2,300 


6,000 


147,157 


229 


200 


2,000: 


228 


23b:;::: : : 


5,000 


44,000 


227A,229,228 
. 225,226 




liiiiiiiiiisii 


::::■:::: : 3.000::: .; 


WM&^SWf 



State of Nevada, 1971, 



32,000 
18,000 



1,000 



1,000 



::17:,C 



i7,212. 
213 



242CA,243CA : 



2,000 



____________„___ 



I 



3-18 



,■ :■■■ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



The Las Vegas Valley is currently experiencing rapid 
growth and development. Heavy demands are being 
placed on an already over-utilized water resource. 
Entities within the valley obtain water from both 
groundwater sources and the Colorado River. The 
groundwater system within Las Vegas Valley has 
been in an overdraft condition since 1945. In 1993, 
approximately 67,356 acre feet of groundwater was 
extracted from the principal aquifer, far exceeding the 
estimated recharge of 30,000 acre feet (Barrick 1995). 

This overdrafting has resulted in most of the 
groundwater problems currently in the Las Vegas 
Valley including declining water levels, land 
subsidence, declining water quality by incursion of 
water possessing higher concentrations of dissolved 
solids and nitrate, and the loss of vegetation 
dependent on groundwater (Morgan 1994). These 
problems, resulting from overdrafting of the 
groundwater resource, are not limited to the Las 
Vegas Valley. Although not to the same degree as 
that occurring in the Las Vegas Valley, all overdrafted 
basins realize some if not all of the problems 
previously identified. 

An artificial recharge project was initiated in 1987 
and in 1993 resulted in the injection of 24,535 acre 
feet of Colorado River water back into the Valley's 
groundwater basin (Barrick 1995). The project offset 
some of the groundwater withdrawal, resulting in a 
net pumpage of 42,821 acre feet in 1993, still 
exceeding annual recharge. This groundwater 
withdrawal represents 13 percent of Las Vegas 
Valley's water withdrawals, with the remaining 87 
percent (292,803 acre feet) obtained from surface 
waters, as Nevada's entitlement to waters of the 
Colorado River (SNWA 1995). 

Of particular concern because of the damage caused 
to property is land subsidence. It is primarily 
associated with over pumping and resultant water 
level declines and has continued to be a problem in 
the Las Vegas Valley since the mid 1940s. The 
decline in water levels and consequential reduction in 
artesian pressure has resulted in an increase in the 
stresses imposed upon the sediments from which the 
water is extracted. In areas containing fine-grained 
deposits (silt and clay), the increase in effective stress 
has resulted in compaction of the sediments. This 
sedimentary compaction is seen on the land surface as 
subsidence. Although a good portion of the valley is 
sinking, it is at a uniform rate and most structures are 
not impacted. Where pre-existing faults occur, 
however, more damage results as fissures are formed 



and large differential settlement occurs (Bell 1991). 
Through artificial recharge, the rate of subsidence in 
the valley has decreased. 

The BLM Water Resources Inventory identified 67 
wells drilled on public lands within the boundaries of 
the Las Vegas BLM District. These wells provide 
permanent and reliable water in an arid environment 
where natural water sources, such as springs and 
seeps, are often unpredictable or intermittent. Since 
the inventory, the Las Vegas Valley Water District 
drilled production and/or recharge wells on public 
lands within Las Vegas Valley in an effort to optimize 
distribution of artificial recharge and pumpage in 
sufficient amounts to meet future demands. 

Water Quality 

In southern Nevada, one critical water resource 
problem is the poor quality of much of the surface 
and ground water. Several factors contribute to the 
high quantities of chemicals and solids in the regional 
water. High evaporation rates leave concentrations of 
salts at or near the soil surface after rainfall. Water 
quality is also affected by the composition of rocks 
and soils, including calcium, magnesium, carbonates, 
silicates, metallic and nonmetallic minerals. As it 
moves slowly into and through the soil profile, water 
dissolves and acquires these constituents. In addition, 
dust containing salts is blown from playas onto 
standing surface water and onto soil where it enters 
both surface and groundwater. 

A water quality sampling program was initiated in 
1979 to obtain baseline water quality data for Clark 
County. Samples were collected in spring, summer, 
and fall and analyzed for biological, chemical, and 
physical parameters. The primary and secondary 
drinking water standards (Appendix G), as defined by 
EPA, were applied to these samples. These standards 
refer to the maximum contaminant levels allowable 
for public water supplies, which if exceeded, could 
adversely affect public health. It is important to note 
that these drinking water standards are for public 
water supplies, not necessarily springs, seeps, and 
others found in the natural environment. These 
standards may, however, be used to evaluate the 
quality of naturally occurring untreated waters in 
terms of suitability for consumption by humans. 

Results of the three sampling periods indicate that 
water at many springs does not meet the Federal 
Drinking Water Standards. The major contaminant in 
the water from 60 of the 64 springs was fecal 



3-19 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



coliform bacteria, which is generally considered to be 
an indicator of fecal contamination. Fecal coliform 
bacteria, which form a portion of the total coliform 
group, are restricted to the intestinal tracts of warm- 
blooded animals and carry disease-causing organisms. 

Levels for turbidity, total dissolved solids, sulfate, 
chloride, manganese, iron, and nitrate nitrogen also 
exceeded Federal standards in several springs. Many 
of these levels do not pose health hazards; only nitrate 
nitrogen is potentially dangerous. This chemical was 
found to react with hemoglobin in the blood to 
produce an anemic condition commonly known as 
"blue baby" in infants under three months of age. 

In addition to the Federal Drinking Water Standards, 
the State of Nevada has established various water 
quality standards for designated beneficial uses within 
the planning area. As identified in Appendix H, 
quality standards and beneficial uses have been set for 
the Colorado, Virgin, Muddy Rivers, Meadow Valley 
Wash, Las Vegas Wash, and Lake Mead. Beneficial 
uses include irrigation; watering of livestock; 
recreation involving contact with the water; recreation 
not involving contact with the water; industrial 
supply; propagation of wildlife, aquatic life, aquatic 
life excluding fish, and aquatic life including a warm 
water fishery; maintenance of fresh water marsh; and 
municipal or domestic supply or both. 

Water quality information for the Virgin River, 
Muddy River, Meadow Valley Wash, and Las Vegas 
Wash was collected by United States Geologic 
Service (Emett 1993). Of those constituents 
monitored, the Virgin River, Muddy River, and Las 
Vegas Wash were found to exceed Federal Drinking 
Water Standards for total dissolved solids and sulfate. 
The Virgin River also exceeded the standard for 
coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria levels were not 
determined for Meadow Valley Wash, Las Vegas 
Wash, or the Muddy River but it is suspected that 
their waters probably exceed Federal Drinking Water 
Standards for this pollutant. 

Salinity contributions to the Colorado River have 
become a concern both nationally and internationally. 
The Colorado River currently carries approximately 
6.6 million tons of dissolved solids annually. Of this 
total load, only an estimated 38,000 tons come from 
the approximately 6 million acres of public lands 
within southeastern Nevada (Westenburg 1995). The 
contribution from the public lands within the Las 
Vegas District is a fraction of the 38,000 tons. 



The quality of ground water varies throughout the 
planning area, as it does in the remainder of the state. 
In general, groundwater in areas of recharge has low 
chemical concentrations, but as it moves through the 
ground water system to discharge areas (such as 
valley bottoms), it dissolves sediments and rock 
materials. The extent to which chemical constituents 
are dissolved is largely determined by the following 
factors: 

• Solubility, volume, and distribution of the 
materials. 

• Length of time that water is in contact with the 
materials. 

• Distance that water travels from point of recharge. 

• Temperature and pressure within the ground water 
system. 

Little is known about ground water quality in much of 
the Las Vegas BLM District. Several hydrographic 
basins were investigated at varying levels of intensity. 
Due to its large urban population, prior research 
focused primarily on the Las Vegas Valley. The 
shallow aquifers within the Las Vegas Valley are 
generally in poor quality. Total dissolved solids 
concentrations are as high as 8,000 milligrams per 
liter (mg/1). Such high concentrations are suspected 
to be the result of recharge from landscape irrigation 
and possible seasonal fluctuations in the water levels 
of the shallow aquifers. The concentrations of total 
dissolved solids have increased over the last few 
years. 

High nitrate concentrations also contribute to the poor 
quality of the more shallow aquifers. In the deeper 
aquifers (200 to 450 foot depths) of Las Vegas 
Valley, water quality varies by geographic location. 
In the northern and western portions of the valley, the 
total dissolved solids concentrations range from 200 to 
400 mg/1, with a calcium-magnesium-bicarbonate 
consistence. Groundwater in the southern and 
southwestern portions of the valley is a sodium- 
potassium-bicarbonate type with total dissolved solids 
concentrations ranging from 700 to 1,500 mg/1. A 
mixed-cation sulfate type water of generally poor 
quality characterizes the remainder of the deep aquifer 
system in the Las Vegas Valley. Further degradation 
of this system can be anticipated, as the lowering of 
the water table accelerates the infiltration of poor 
quality water into adjacent aquifers (USDI BLM 
1990). 

The other hydrographic basins in the Las Vegas BLM 
District exhibit groundwater quality characteristics 
similar to the Las Vegas Valley (that is, water quality 



ft 



3-20 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



deteriorates from the higher areas to the valley 
bottoms). In the carbonate and volcanic rock aquifers 
to the northwest of Las Vegas, water quality is 
generally acceptable. Water of a calcium-magnesium- 
bicarbonate composition is found in the carbonate 
aquifers, whereas a sodium-potassium-bicarbonate 
composition is associated with the waters of the 
volcanic rock aquifer. East and southeast of Las 
Vegas there is unacceptable water with a mixed 
cation-sulfate composition. The area west of the 
Arrow Canyon Range shows a marked increase in 
water quality and with further investigation may be a 
good water supply. Although little or no data exists 
for it, the area west of the Sheep Range is assumed to 
generally possess good-to-fair water quality with the 
exception of isolated areas of poor quality water 
(Lyles 1987). 

Riparian Resources 

A riparian/wetland area is an area of land directly 
influenced by permanent water. It has visible 
vegetation or physical characteristics reflective of 
permanent water influence. Lakeshores and 
streambanks are typical riparian areas. Excluded are 
such sites as ephemeral streams or washes that do not 
exhibit the presence of vegetation dependent upon free 
water in the soil. Such areas vary from one location 
to another, depending on water availability and 
quality, elevation, climate, soils, and topography. 
Despite this variability, all riparian areas share the 
following characteristics 

• Small in comparison with the overall area. 

• Create a well-defined zone within a much drier 
ecosystem. 

• Support a great diversity of plant and animal 
species. 

A riparian area in good condition can help moderate 
flows by reducing peaks and increasing minimum 
flows; improve water quality; stabilize soils; reduce 
sediment loads; and contribute a significant and 
critical component to ecological diversity and 
productivity. 

Riparian areas in the Las Vegas BLM District are 
primarily associated with perennial streams and 
springs. Only four perennial streams (greater than 0.5 
mile in length) are found on public lands in the 
planning area. These include the Muddy and Virgin 
Rivers, Meadow Valley Wash, and Las Vegas Wash. 
Of these four streams, only the Virgin River has a 
significant riparian area located on public lands. 
This area, totaling approximately 194 acres, covers 9 



miles of the river's length. Conditions range from 
poor to fair, depending on the location along the river 
(USDI BLM 1988). Vegetation within the riparian 
area consists primarily of tamarisk (Tamarix sp.) and 
saltgrass (Distichlis sp.) Tamarisk, commonly known 
as salt cedar, is a problem within the Virgin River 
floodplain due to its high water consumption, salt 
concentrating abilities, and its characteristic rapid 
spread. Any control efforts of tamarisk would be 
tiered to the Final EIS Vegetation Treatment on BLM 
Lands in 13 Western States. 

In 1989, an inventory was started on the current 
extent and condition of riparian areas associated with 
springs; to date, 50 springs have been inventoried. 
Under this inventory, condition was determined based 
primarily on existing riparian vegetation with 
condition classes defined as: 

Excellent : There is little or no disturbance of the 
plant community and succession is 
progressing or stable. There is an 
abundance of both new and old plants. 

Good Succession is progressing or is stable 

with new and old growth common. 
There is a potential for increased plant 
density. There are some patches of 
clipped vegetation; seedstalks are 
readily observable and some woody 
plants are hedged. 

Fair There is noticeable disturbance with 

medium-to-high successional 
availability. Most woody plants are 
hedged; grass is clipped to the ground 
in places; and there is a fair possibility 
of riparian habitat regression. 

Poor Extreme disturbance exists with large 

patches of bare soil and grass having a 
mown appearance. There is little or 
no production of key plant species. 
Woody species are hedged or broken, 
and riparian vegetation is regressing or 
nearly so. 

Data from this inventory is presented in Table 3-10. 
These 50 springs comprise a total riparian area of 25 
acres, with the average associated area comprising 0.5 
acres. The condition of the springs ranges from poor 
to good, with 40 percent (20 springs) in poor 
condition and 30 percent (15 springs) in good 
condition. 



3-21 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



A list of spring-associated riparian areas yet to be 
inventoried are included in Table 3-9. Given an 
average riparian area of 0.5 acres, it is anticipated that 
the remaining 99 springs will represent' a total of 
approximately 49.5 acres. This, combined with those 
springs already inventoried (25 acres), indicates a total 
spring-associated riparian area of almost 75 acres. 
This is a relatively small figure, when compared to 
areas with ample water sources. This fact makes 
these spring-associated riparian areas extremely 
important in an area such as the Las Vegas BLM 
District, which has limited water resources and 
associated riparian ecosystems. 

In 1991, the Riparian-Wetland Initiative for the 1990s 
established national goals and objectives for managing 
riparian- wetland resources on public lands. A chief 
goal of this initiative is to restore and maintain 
riparian-wetland areas to proper functioning condition. 
Riparian-wetland areas are functioning properly when 
adequate vegetation, landform, or large woody debris 
is present to: 

• Dissipate stream energy associated with high 
waterflows, consequently reducing erosion and 
improving water quality. 

• Filter sediment. 
Capture bedload. 

• Aid floodplain development. 

• Improve flood-water retention and groundwater 
recharge. 

• Develop root masses that stabilize streambanks 
against cutting action. 

• Develop diverse ponding and channel 
characteristics to provide the habitat and the water 
depth, duration, and temperature necessary for 
fish production, waterfowl breeding, and other 
uses; and support greater biodiversity. 

The functioning condition of riparian-wetland areas is 
a result of interaction among geology, soil, water, and 
vegetation. A proper functioning condition inventory 
of all riparian areas within the planning area was 
initiated. 



combinations of precipitation and temperature are 
present. When these conditions occur, a significant 
amount of growth can be produced in a very short 
time. Winter precipitation from Pacific frontal storms 
stimulates the widespread production of winter/spring 
annuals that stay green for several months, if 
temperatures remain cool. Summer thunderstorms 
generally result in scattered occurrences of annuals, 
which tend to dry out quickly due to higher 
temperatures. 

Biennials are those species that complete their life 
cycle over two years; some produce vegetative growth 
during one season and seed during the second season 
while others produce seed at the end of each of the 
two growing seasons. Perennials are plants that are 
long-lived, producing both vegetative growth and seed 
each growing season, depending on temperature and 
precipitation. 

Vegetation Communities 

All vegetation communities in the Las Vegas BLM 
District are within the Sonoran Basin and Range 
Province or Mojave Desert Shrub Biotic 
Communities, with a small inclusion of the Colorado 
and Green River Plateau Biomes. Table 3-11 lists the 
communities and acreages in the Las Vegas BLM 
District that are described below. 

Salt Desert Shrub 

This vegetation community is found throughout the 
Las Vegas BLM District at lower elevations in valley 
bottoms, around playas, and on bajadas. Soils are 
saline or alkaline and fine-textured (silts and/or clays). 
Dominant species are four-wing saltbush (Atriplex 
canescens), shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), green 
ephedra (Ephedra viridis), seep weed (Suaeda 
torreyana var. ramosissima), and bud sage (Artemisia 
spinescens). Common forbs and grasses include 
halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus), Russian thistle 
(Salsola sp.) and Indian rice grass (Oryzopsis 
hymenoides). 



Vegetation Management 

All vegetation communities contain herbaceous 
species classified as annual (ephemeral), biennial, or 
perennial. Annual forbs and grasses are those species 
that complete their entire life cycle within one 
growing season. Seeds of annual species may lie 
dormant in the soil for years until the proper 



Southern Desert Shrub 

This community occurs throughout the planning area, 
primarily at elevations below 4,000 feet where annual 
rainfall is unreliable and averages less than six inches. 
Temperature extremes range from over 100 degrees 
Fahrenheit in the summer, to 25 degrees Fahrenheit in 
the winter. 



3-22 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-9. Known springs within Las Vegas District. 



Township 



Discharge <gp 



rwtti'Y'- 



15S 

155; 



70E: 
7GE 



12.0 

ft 1:7 



Black Re 



:kel Greek 


15S 


70E 


ronrZ::^-.:- 


■.-.-.-,• :-j5§:s ;; 


■ :. : 71E 




15S 


■71E 




15S 


71E 




: : .::: : : 1:5S 


: 71E 




. 15S 


■ ';■ 7 ] T? 




■ rss: :;:;-;:;^ 






15S 





Rattlesn 



Artesian 



Seb 

R"un 



16S 


71E 


16S •■ : 




17S 






50E 


17S • " 


50E 


17S ::: 




17S- ::,:■:. : 




17S 




17S ::::: 





:17b 



0,1 

2.0 

30 

2.0 

45.0 

10.0 

-1.0 

60.0 

40.0: 

8.0 

50.0 

0.1 

:: 0v4 



3-23 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-9. Known Springs within the Las Vegas District (continued). 



Name 


Township 


jtange 


Section 




Unnamed 








0.1 


Red Bluff 








5.0 


Red Rock 


17S 








: S alt 




70E 






Jackrabbit 




5 IE 






Unnamed 




- : :' : : :;: Sip 






Bote 










Unnamed :■ ;.; 






30 




: Last Chance' . 




5 IE : ; 


30 




/Unnamed : - 




; 5 : lE :: : 


30 


0,1 .:. . 


Horse :. 






§ll|l|§; 


0.5 


Grapevine 










Sitter 










: :: :U^^ 










Perkins 






i 




Maynard 


. . y : :- -A9S ' : - : -:----^ 


; ::69E 


v:S^^^ffi 




Mockingbird /:,:■:;■; 


19S 


69E 


21 




Quail 




69E 






^/Agua Cm^itat-ix:;;:';::;:' 




■ /ifitj- ■ 






1: datelaw : '<'. 










Bills 










:■: ■ Granite ■ 










■Falls': 




■■;■: '70Ex : 


■: 33- - 




: /Grapevine 




70E 


34 




Julie's 




tie .:; : 


a 




'■: .Summit ■: 




71E 


1: g 




New: ; 






: -m!&ffM : :: 




■ ■Gonnoly(Diamorid) : ; 


x::::19S :/ 


;Mi : ; ; -7:i&i ; SH : :i.; 


':- :0 A ■"■"■ 




■■■■ Unnamed: : v;: 


: ;i:9S:: r ;: ; 


171E 






Klup 




56F 






Gypsum 










^ Fairbanks : \ 










Cataract ■ 








■■■" ----■ 


::;:R^^ 


■ I :::20S 




13 




Taylor 


20S 


69E 


: |^Si|l;? 




Gann 




69E 






walker 




'v'/ (YC 


: ; :;::;;|-K-ii|||?K::i:||:::lill^ 




Turkey 


4,\)o .'..'.. 




::; I; lipoid 




Ruby 


,: 20S ; : 








Willow 


OAC 








;;■:■;: : 3i3^&^%;^:::-:^;^'^ 








.;; "t v i — : — 3 



3-24 






Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-9. Known Springs within the Las Vegas District (continued) 



::;Narae : : 



Township 



scharge (gpr 



Unnamed 

Unnamed-; 
rn : ; :■: 



Unnamed 
Unnamed 
Unnamed 
Eagle Water 
Forlorn Hope 
Unnamed" 



21S 



22S ;;::; 


- : 54E 




22S -: :: :: s:-:: 


58E ...... 


■: : :': ; :: :29 


23S 


55E 


;: ;;;v: 5 


2-3S 


62E 


77 


23S 


62E '■'.<":'■:■:■■ 


27 


23S v.'''' 


:".'": O^L"/-.*-,;';-//.// 


■ : ■ ■ ■ 27' 


rt ■'£& .;'. 


63E 


36 


OCQ ' 


64E 


T 


ts 'iz Q . 


64E 


.34 




64E '■' 


34 



.1:54 



M&- 



Latelaw 



Lone Pine 
McCullough 
North Railroad 



26S 
26S: 



0:3 



Unnamed 

unnamed 
Lucy Grey 1 

South Railroa 
Tubbs 
Granite 
Pine 

Big Pine 
Lucy Grey 3 
Unnamed 
Ora Hanna 



26S 




... 13 


■26S;;.; 


. / / : . , : 64E : ■ ■ : 


22 


Of^Q; ■'■ ■ 


64E 


29 


■ O^C : ; 


64E :::: 


29 


: 26S : ■■ : 


fS4F 


■ '•i'V 


26S 






27S 


DvE 




27S 


IE ■ ■ 


4 


:::27S;; ■ 


61E 


i o 


0'7C" 


61E 


::::!& 



&£■ 



■■■M 



3-25 



;/ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-9. Known Springs within the Las Vegas District (concluded). 



;$*! 



Deadhorse 

Thomas \ 

Unnamed 

.Unnamed, : 

Grasshopper 

Unnamed: ::: 

Unnamed::: 

Unnamed;:;; 

;jQnati:: '■':: 

Unnamed:: .. 

Scotts Well 

Bullion 

Burro 

Summit 

Lewis Holes 

Roman;;: ■■■^ 

Yellowstone 

Unnamed 

Rattlesnake 

Cottonwood 

: Cottonwood : 

Hito 

•Quail : 

Granite 



27S 

ins 

27S 



|.75. 



mmx 


•:■■■■■•■ 64E-. 1 


12 


27S : : 


: : : : ::::.:: 64E 


12 


27Sv 


■ (v4li 


14 


27S 




.■; . ;t -A- 


28S '.'.v.'.'. 




20 


28S :;:: 




26 


28S 




...... 31 


3GS: 




V :. rt ,c 


31S 






m 


llHl 


. 4 


m 


6^F 


16 



:28 
12> 



l 
■ 



Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) is the dominant 
species of this community, occurring as a distinct 
community or as an understory species with yucca 
(Yucca schidigera), depending on elevation. White 
bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) is the usual co-dominant 
with creosote bush. Dry washes at lower elevations 
often support catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii). 
Common forbs and grasses include Indian ricegrass, 
Russian thistle, big galleta (Hilaria rigida), desert 
needlegrass (Stipa speciosa), and filaree (Erodium 
cicutarium). 

Moiave Desert Shrub 

This grouping consists of a mixture of shrubs 
characteristic of mid-elevations of the Mojave desert. 
These species generally occur on tuff or alluvial 
deposits at elevations between 4,000-5,000 feet 
throughout the planning area. Joshua tree (Yucca 



brevifolia) is a conspicuous overstory in this 
community. Common shrubs are smooth horsebrush 
(Tetradymia glabrata), spiny menodora (Menodora 
spinescens), burrobrush (Hymenoclea salsola), box 
thorn (Lycium andersonii), green ephedra, green 
rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus), Mormon 
tea (Ephedra nevadensis), and four-wing saltbush. 
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramossissima) becomes the 

dominant shrub at higher elevations, often forming 
pure stands on drier south or southwest-facing slopes. 
Blackbrush intergrades with sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) 
at higher elevations. Common grasses are big galleta, 
Indian ricegrass, and fluffgrass. Cacti are also 
common in this community; conspicuous species are 
cottontop barrel cactus (Echinocactus polycephalus), 
prickly pear (Opuntia echinocarpa), and various 
cholla species (Opuntia sp.). When blackbrush is 



3-26 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-10. Riparian inventory. 



ng Name 



uta 



. Key West 
Key- West 

riii Canyon 

lar 

ckRock 

ate Rock 



Forlorn Hope 



T14S. 


, R.65E. sec. 27 NWWSWW 


2.0 


Good 


T* 1 *yQ 


. R.69E. sec. 1 5 NEW NE!4 


111 0.7 


..Fair 




, R.70E. see. 02 SEWSWV4 


III 0.1 '■','■■ 


;■: Poor 




, R.70E. sec. 09 SWWNWW 


0.01 






. R.70E, sec. 14 S WWSEW 


2.0 


Good 




, R.70E. sec. 09 NW'4 


iiiiliil 


ll:.: Poor 




, R.70E. sec. 16 SEV4SEW 


wmmmMi 


Poor 




R.70E sec, 21 NEWS WW 


0.03 


§■: Poor 




R.71E. sec. 06 NEW 


0.1 


1 ;:: Poor 




R.71E. sec09SEWNWW 


3.0 


'11 Good 




R.71E. sec. 16 NW4NWW 


0.9 


frond 




RJlE.sec, 19NEWNEW 


liliiil 






R.71E. sec. 19 NWWNWW 


liiitl 






R.71E. sec. 19 


0.05 


Impair 




R.53E. sec. 17 SEW 


mMm 


■ :F66r 


T.17S. 


R.69E sec. 14 NWWNWW 


'■ :■: -m 


Fair 


T17S. 


R.70E. sec. 6,7,18 


5.0: 


11 Fair 


T.17S. 


R.70E. sec 25 SEWSWW 


0.01 


.'.' — 


T.18S 


R.70E. sec. 24 SWWSEW 


0.1 


Fair 


*t* 1QO 


R67E.sec 17 NEWNEW 


1.0 


Poor 




R.69E sec. 20 NWWSWW . 


llfll: 


1 Poor 




R.69E. sec 22 






TlQS. 


R.70E. sec 10 NEWS WW 


1 0.01 : 


% Poor 


T.19S. 


R.70E, sec. 17 SEWNEW 


0.0 


;..-,—. 




R.70E sec 33 NWWNWW 


0.05 


Poor 




R.70E. sec. 34 SWWNWW : 


■ 0.02 ill 


;■:■ Fair 




R.71E. sec. 06 SEW 


0.14 


Good 




E.71E. sec. 1 8 NWWSWW 


■■:: 0.4. ill 


.Good. 




R 71E. sec. 31 NEW 


0.01 


il-Poor; 




R.56E. sec. 3 1 SEWSEW : 


iiiitii 


'-Good 


T20S. 


R.69E. sec. 06 NEWNEW 


1 T.0 : 


Fair 


T* :?7flC!: 


: R VsOT^"' ; ' cpr 1 S NT*^ ^ W/1j4 ; : ■ 


1 # 


;; : Good- 




R,o9E + S6C, 15 NWv£ 


iillllll 1:1 


/Poor: 




R.69E. sec. 21 SEUNWU 


o.o2; : - 


■Poor 




R.69E. sec 25 NW'/iNWW 


0.02 


Good 


T.20S. 


R.70E. sec. 08 SWWSEW 


0.0 


-Poor 


T.20S, 


R.70E. sec 19 SWWSEW 


o.o7 


Fair 




R.64E. sec 01 


0.2 


llGood 



High 

Moderate 

High 

Low 

: ;:; ; :; ; : LOW 

Low 



Lc 
No: 



lIllsNoii&H 

'.'■: High*' 

Moderate 

High 

High 

Moderate 

Moderate 

Moderate 

-High 

Moderate: 
Moderate^ 
Moderate 

^ :: !:llP: ; :L6w 

None 

Moderate* 

Moderate* 

Moderate;-. 

Low 

1|§| 1 LOW. 
:-} : s.::: : L0W : :: 

Low 

lllpNpa;: 

:;:::: LOW-: 

None 



3-27 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-10. Riparian Inventory (concluded). 



v 



vocation 



Acreage Conditi 



MeClanaban 
McCullough 

mmmMMi 

OraHanna 
Highland 
Cow 

Rattlesnake 
Unnamed vy 
Cottonwood 
Cottonwood 
Hiko 
Quail 



Key, 



T.26S.. 
T.26S. 
T.26S.. 
T.27S-., 
T.275., 
T.27S., 
T.31S., 
T.31S., 
T.31S., 
T31S., 
T.32S., 
T.32S.. 



R;61E. 
R.61E. 
R.61E. 
R 62E. 
R.62E. 
R.62E 
R.65E. 
R.65E. 
R&5E. 
R.65E. 
R.65E; 
R.«5E. 



see, 08SW4 

sec. 26 SE^SWW 
sec. 31 NEWNE% 
see. 05 NE'^SB'4 

see. mmmmu 

sec. 26 NEWS WA 
sec, 16 SE'/4HE'/4 
sec.l6SW^ :: : 

sec. 28:SE ! /4NW14 
see. 12 SEMS&A 
see. 15 smWNV* 



inclosure and/or development, completed. 



; oor 



1 


v: Poor 


0.5 ::■ 


■ Good 




Good 


.01 


Good 


04 ■; 


:. ' Fair 



Moderate 

Low 

Moderate 

High: 

Moderate 

■ : : NoneT 



High 
None 



I 



disturbed by fire, overgrazing, or other mechanisms, 
purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea) invades the site. 

Mountain Shrub 

The mountain shrub or northern desert shrub 
community occurs at elevations between 4,500-6,000 
feet in the planning area. Common shrubs include 
mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), 
manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens), desert bitterbrush 
(Purshia glandulosa), various sagebrush species, 
Mormon tea, and green rabbitbrush. Grass cover 
tends to be quite low in this group, with dominants 
being squirreltail {Sitanion hystrix) and Indian 
ricegrass. Several prickly pear species are common in 
this association. 

At elevations above 5,000 feet where annual 
precipitation exceeds eight inches, the mountain shrub 
community is characterized by a mosaic of black sage 
{Artemisia nova), and big sagebrush {Artemisia 
tridentata), depending on soil types and aspect. Big 
sagebrush occurs on deeper, sandy soils on mesas and 
in drainages and valley bottoms. Black sagebrush 
prefers the shallower, rocky soils of ridges and 
hillsides. 



Pinyon- Juniper Woodland 

The state tree of Nevada, singleleaf pinyon pine 
{Pinus monophylla), and Utah juniper {Juniperus 
osteosperma) are the dominant components of this 
community which is found in the Newberry, 



McCullough, Virgin, Mormon, and Spring Mountains. 
Pinyon-juniper woodland occurs at elevations above 
6,000 feet, where average precipitation exceeds 8 
inches. Understory shrubs are black sagebrush, big 
sagebrush, desert bitterbrush, green rabbitbrush, and 
cliffrose {Cowania mexicana). Grass species include 
black grama {Bouteloua eriopoda) and squirreltail. 

Conifer 

In the planning area, the conifer community has a 
very limited distribution, consisting of a remnant 
stand of white fir {Abies concolor), found near the 
summit of Virgin Peak at 8,000 feet, and relic stands 
of ponderosa pine {Pinus ponderosa) in isolated areas 
of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. 
Also present in this community is singleleaf pinyon 
pine; the understory is dominated by big sagebrush, 
and, to a lesser extent, by muttongrass {Poa 
fendleriana). 



3-28 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Riparian : The riparian community is uncommon in 
the planning area, being restricted of areas of 
perennial water around springs, seeps, and along 
stream channels. Ash Meadows and the Virgin River 
floodplain support riparian vegetation. Typical species 
are willow (Salix sp.), Cottonwood (Populus 
fremontii), ash (Fraxinus sp.), rushes (Juncus sp.), 
cattails (Typha latifolia), and inland saltgrass 
(Distichlis sp.). Saltcedar (Tamarix pentandra) has 
invaded many of the streambank riparian areas, 
displacing native plants. 

Grassland : This community is extremely restricted in 
distribution within the pl annin g area, occurring in 
Hidden Valley, the Las Vegas Dunes area, and 
Amargosa Valley. The grassland community is 
typified by native grass species, primarily big galleta 
and Indian ricegrass; shrubs are generally absent. 

Mesquite : The mesquite (Prosopis sp.) community is 
found near springs and seeps and in areas where the 
water table is high enough to assure a reliable source 
of water. Large stands of mesquite occur in Meadow 
Valley Wash, north of Glendale, and in the Crystal 
area in the Amargosa Valley. Small, scattered stands 
or bosqu.es grow in ephemeral drainages and on sand 
dunes throughout the Las Vegas BLM District. 

Table 3-11. Vegetation communities in Las Vegas 
District. 



Vegetation Community 




Southern desert shrub 




Mojave shrub 


::';"■■ 1,221,316 : v. 


Pi nyon -juniper 


128,957: : 


: Salt desert shrub 


:- :: 55M5:: 


■Mountain: shrub 


10,872 


: Grassland 


: : 6,916 


Mesquite: 


'■.:: : 5,358 


: Conifer 




Riparian 


1 .963 


Total 


3,331,895 


(Source: BLM, Las Vegas 


District Office tiles. 


1991; Range Survey, 197 


J, 1979.) 



Vegetation Condition 

Vegetation condition in the planning area was 
evaluated during past decades by several methods, 



with each method using different variables to 
determine vegetation condition. BLM traditionally 
selected forage species as indicators of condition and 
trend, using relative values such as "good" or "poor" 
range condition. Condition data is generally gathered 
only in areas where livestock grazing is permitted. 
Forage condition denotes the relative abundance of 
preferred forage species found in the vegetation type 
as compared to other vegetation types found 
throughout the public lands. For example, grasslands 
would always be evaluated in better "condition" than 
shrublands. 

This method was primarily replaced by an 
examination of ecological condition or status, which is 
defined as the present state of the vegetation and soil 
protection of an ecological site in relation to the 
potential natural community. Ecological condition 
compares the present status to a standard for a 
specific "range site", rather than other vegetation 
types. Ecological condition is expressed in terms of 
four successional stages progressing from early serai 
stage to a potential natural community. A detailed 
soil survey (Order 3) is a prerequisite for such an 
analysis; this survey is complete for the Las Vegas 
Valley, the Virgin River Valley, the Eldorado Valley 
and southwest Nye County. Although the Order 3 
soil survey is near completion for remaining areas in 
Clark County, it may not be finished due to a lack of 
funding. 

A third method of assessing ecologic condition is 
based on professional judgement in interpreting the 
ecological site index. Staff specialists trained in range 
management, wildlife management, agronomy, or 
botany visually rate an area, using knowledge of the 
plant species, soil types, climatic factors and site 
index descriptions. 

The BLM is required to report the condition of its 
rangelands on an annual basis. The 1989 the Las 
Vegas District report provided data on both range 
condition and ecological status; the acres reported 
were adjusted to reflect the actual acreage of the 
planning area (see Tables 3-12 and 3-13). Federally- 
managed acreage scheduled for disposal under 
Congressional mandate within the boundaries of the 
city of Las Vegas was not reported. BLM also 
provided data on ecological status (based on 
professional judgement) to the General Accounting 
Office in response to a request in 1990 (see Table 3- 
14). 



3-29 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Visual Resource Management 

The planning area contains a variety of scenic values, 
which can be separated into seven distinct areas: 

Gold Butte area 

Mormon Mesa 

Muddy Mountains 

Spring Mountains 

Amargosa Valley 

South of Las Vegas Valley. 

The Visual Resource Management program manages 
these values with the objectives of retaining the 
quality of the visual environment and reducing the 
visual impact of development activities. Scenic areas 
that warrant protection through special management 
attention are also identified. 

Approximately 195,610 acres of highly scenic lands 
occur within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 
Area and along the foothills of the Spring Mountains; 
this area is managed primarily for its visual resources. 
The remainder of the resource area (comprised 
primarily of desert, mountains, playas, and bajadas) 
are managed to avoid resource uses and surface 
disturbance from dominating the landscape. 

The Gold Butte area (located south of Mesquite, 
Nevada and northeast of Lake Mead) is dominated by 
the Virgin Mountains and characterized by exceptional 
panoramic desert views. The northern portion of the 
area is covered by sparse creosote bushes, grasses, 
and shrubs. Dense stands of joshua trees, pinyon and 
juniper, as well as desert vegetation types, are found 
at the southern extreme of Gold Butte. There are few 
water sources and riparian areas. The proximity of 
the tree-clad Virgin Mountains to sandstone 
formations and desert vegetation creates a stark visual 
contrast. 

The Mormon Mesa area is north of Interstate 15 and 
east of the Desert Wildlife Range. The predominate 
landscapes in the area are Mormon Mesa, Mormon 



Mountain, and the Arrow Range. The primary water 
sources in the area are the Muddy River and Meadow 
Valley Wash; both contain riparian vegetation and 
arable lands. Vegetation consists of creosote bush 
communities in the lower elevations and 
piny on/juniper woodlands on Mormon Mountain. 
Scenic values are found in the transition between the 
Mesa's floor and Mormon Mountain and in the 
geologically unique Arrow Canyon. 

The Muddy Mountains are south of Interstate 15, 
north of Lake Mead, and east of Las Vegas. The 
Muddy Mountains offer a backdrop of color and 
(from the top of Muddy Peak,)outstanding views of 
Lake Mead and nearby basins. Specific areas of high 
scenic quality in the area include Buffington Pockets, 
Anniversary Narrows, and Hidden Valley. A few 
springs with riparian vegetation intersperse the 
creosote bush communities of the lower elevation. 
The Valley of Fire State Park and Sunrise Mountain 
are other areas of scenic value in the region. 

The Spring Mountains area includes all the landforms 
adjacent to Mount Charleston and the Toiyabe 
National Forest. The area is dissected with several 
moderate sized canyons, several major highways, and 
desert to mountain transition zone vegetation. The 
most dramatic feature is the back drop of Mount 
Charleston which dominates the entire landscape. 

The Amargosa Valley area is found north and west of 
Las Vegas between the municipalities of Pahrump and 
Beatty. Most of the landscape is not remarkable, 
characterized by flat bajada type desert country with 
creosote bush communities and some minor hills and 
mountains. The eastern portion of the area borders 
NTS and exhibits colorful and rugged mountain 
ranges that breakup the monotony of the valley floor. 
Several cinder cones and Big Dune offer a unique 
scenic contrast to the Amargosa Valley. 



3-30 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FE1S - May 1998 



Table 3-12. Range forage condition. 



Ee 



Forage 



Good 



99 957 



2,842,10^ 



W 



Table 3-13. Ecological status. 



Lcolofiical status 



3,331,895 90,742 : 75,112 


4,749 


Earlv Serai 

:: : 


: ::: i:::Npt: : 


11 : 


Table 3-14. Professional judgement of ecological status. 










Acres Community Late Serai 


ftHd { 


>S£3A Early Serai 


v::Not : : 

Classified 


3,331,895** . . 899,612 2,199,050 
ocrivcd from inventory dsis 3ndt)rGfcssiGJifil itid26Tnc 

(Source: USDI, BLM 1990). 




3-31 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Fish and Wildlife and Special Status 
Species Resources 

The Las Vegas BLM District encompasses an 
ecologically diverse region with a variety of 
landforms, soil types, moisture regimes, and 
vegetation communities. This variability creates 
habitat for numerous wildlife species (see Appendix 
A). Appendix B lists special status species that 
may occur in the planning area. Species of concern 
include the following: 

Desert Bighorn Sheep 

(Ovis canadensis nelsoni) 

Archeological evidence indicates that desert bighorn 
sheep have occurred in Nevada for the past 11,000 
years (McQuivey 1978); the state currently supports 
one of the largest modern populations in the United 
States. In the planning area, bighorn sheep are 
found in 17 mountain ranges, with two additional 
ranges capable of supporting sheep herds (see Map 
3-7). Table 3-15 lists historic and current bighorn 
sheep habitat and populations. 

Over the past 12 years, bighorn numbers have 
stabilized or increased slightly as a result of 
reintroduction to former habitat, water 
developments, and favorable land use decisions. 
The apparent decline of bighorn sheep populations 
in some areas can be attributed to the recent 
drought, as well as the inability of the data to 
support a long-term downward population trend. In 
1989, the McCullough and Highland ranges (Area 
84) were reopened to hunting for the first time in 
several years. Bighorn sheep compete with 
domestic sheep, livestock, wild horses, and burros 
for forage and water. Urban growth is also 
impacting sheep habitat by reducing acreage and 
disrupting migration routes. 

Mule Deer 

(Odocoileus hemionus) 

Historic evidence suggests that mule deer numbers 
were relatively low in Nevada prior to the turn of 
the century. In the Las Vegas BLM District, mule 
deer numbers have remained low and their 
distribution is limited by the amount of suitable 
habitat. Much of the planning area does not support 
the vegetation types preferred by mule deer. Water, 
too, is a limiting factor, with competition occurring 
at spring sources between livestock, wild horses and 



burros, and mule deer. Low density deer 
populations are restricted to several mountain 
ranges, including the Spring, McCullough, 
Newberry, and Virgin Mountains (see Map 3-8). 
Some deer use occurs in the Gold Butte area located 
south of the Virgin Mountains. Mule deer 
populations are so low in the planning area that 
Nevada Division of Wildlife does not conduct 
population census. 

GambeFs Quail 

(Callipepla gambelli) 

In Nevada, good quail habitat is generally located 
on alluvial fans dissected by numerous washes, at 
elevations between 2,000-4,500 feet. Quail habitat 
totals approximately 3.4 million acres in Clark 
County; additional habitat is found in Nye County 
at the north end of the Spring Mountains and at Ash 
Meadows (see Map 3-9). Population density is 
difficult to estimate due to large annual fluctuations 
in quail numbers. Habitat conditions vary from 
excellent to poor, depending upon water availability, 
precipitation, and forage conditions. All springs, 
seeps, rivers, lakes, and water catchments are 
important use areas for these birds. 



Special Status Animal Species 

The Las Vegas BLM District is home for many 
special status species, which include Federally-listed 
threatened and endangered, candidate, state listed, 
and sensitive species (see Map 3-10). It is BLM 
policy to manage the habitats of all special status 
species, to prevent future listing of species, to 
ensure the recovery of listed species, and to ensure 
that any Federal actions authorized, funded, or 
carried out are not likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of any such species (BLM Manual 6840). 

Species lists and other information are included in 
the following appendices: 

• Appendix A lists species found or potentially 
found in the Las Vegas BLM District. 

Appendix B includes special status species 
known to occur on BLM or adjacent lands. 

The BLM conserves Federally listed species and 
their habitats and uses existing authorities to further 
the purpose of the Endangered Species Act. All 
actions authorized, funded, or carried out by the 



3-32 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

BLM must comply with the requirements of the 
Endangered Species Act. Species proposed for 
Federal listing are managed with the same level of 
protection as listed species. 



Further, the BLM policy requires management of 
habitats of candidate and BLM sensitive species in 
such a manner that Future federal listing will not be 
required. The planning unit supports numerous 
BLM sensitive species (see Appendix B). 



Table 3-15. Current/historic bighorn sheep habitat and populations based upon data from 1976-1994. 



Mountain Range 



Arrow: Canyon Range 

Las Vegas Range**** 

South Spnng/Bird Spring Ranges 

Red Rock/La Madre 

McCullough Mountains : 

Highland Raiige :■■■■■: 

Eldorado Range 

Muddy Mou mains/N. Muddy : Ran; 

Newberry Mountains 

River M oti niai us 

Virgin Mountains ■ 

New York/Castle Peak 

Gold Suites 

Last- Chance Range* * 

Specter. Range** V :: : ;.^ : 

Bare Mountains** 

Meadow, Valley Mtns-*** : 

Mormon Moun tai its** *'* 

Dry Lake Range*** 

Lucy Grey Mountains* * * . 

North Spring Range*** 



Population 


Estimates 


Total 




1976 








; : ;:::: : 277: - : 


Wmm^m 






::7Q 


51 


78,200 




162 


73 


116,100 




158;;; 


118 








■'■'■■'■'■'\'A' ■''■'■"■' 




15,200 
23,500 >'■: 


122 , 


489 




22,300 


55 


rmmsmm:; 


29,200 


TO 900 




mm ■■■: 257 m 


12,700 






68 


39,100 




mm^ 25*:: .'■;' 


25* 


14 000 ■■■■■'■■■■'■'■■■■'■■ 


9,500 





68 ' 
141 




11,300 




/ ^ :■■ ■m'--'m : -*j-e ■:■'■'. .■ 


25,200 
8,200 






79 








392. 


3,200 ."■: 









;;- 11.500 








in 2 miles of w; 
monfv. Mosto 



2,516 



Acres are rounded to the nearest 100 acres. Nevada 
New York Mountains are located m: California. The 

. animals move. back and torth between California and Nevada, 

Recent transplant;: estimate is based: upon actual numbers released, and observed reproduction, 

Unoccupied historic habitat. 

Portions of the Mormon, Meadow Valley and Las Vegas (Elbow) Ranges are located in the 
planning unit. The majority at the habitat and all existing waters are located outside the Resource: 
Area. Population estimates: axe for & entire mountain ranees. ' 



(Source; NDOW survey data 1976-1994 and unpublished BLM data). 



3-33 



ymmmism' mm^'wiBmamm^n 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Special Status Fish 

Several Federally-listed endangered fish' are found 
in the Colorado River drainage system, which 
crosses the eastern edge of the Las Vegas BLM 
District. Each of these species is threatened by 
habitat destruction (such as water removal, 
sedimentation, pollution, and channelization) and 
predation, particularly from exotic species. These 
threats are magnified by the low population 
numbers and the limited range of each species. The 
Recovery Plan for the Virgin River Fishes (USDI 
USFWS 1995b) and the Recovery Plan for the Rare 
Aquatic Species of the Muddy River Ecosystem 
(USDI USFWS 1995a), guide BLM management 
strategies for Federally- listed endangered species in 
the Muddy and Virgin rivers. Other BLM special 
status fish species in the Muddy River includes the 
Moapa Whiteriver springfish (Crenichthys baileyi 
moapae), Moapa speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus 
moapae). 

Woundfin - Federally-Listed Endangered 
(Plagopterus argentissimus). The woundfin was 
originally native to the Salt, Gila, Colorado, Moapa, 
and Virgin Rivers. Current distribution is limited to 
the Virgin River drainage in Arizona, Nevada, and 
Utah, from LaVerkin Springs and the lower portion 
of LaVerkin Creek near Hurricane, Utah down to 
Lake Mead, Nevada. The Las Vegas BLM District 
manages approximately 194 acres of riparian habitat 
along the Virgin River in Nevada. 

Virgin River Chub-Federallv-Listed Endangered 
{Gila robusta). The Virgin River population of the 
Virgin River chub was listed in August 1989. 
Historically, this species was endemic to the Virgin 
River system in southwestern Utah, northwestern 
Arizona, and southern Nevada and the Muddy River 
in southern Nevada. Its current distribution is 
limited to the mainstream Virgin River from Pah 
Tempe Springs down to the Mesquite Diversion and 
reaches of the Muddy River. At one time, it was 
thought that the chub in the Muddy River was a 
separate species from that in the Virgin River. 
Current research has shown that the Moapa River 
Chub is not a separate subspecies, but instead 
should be considered a distinct population segment 
of the Virgin River Chub. A large percentage of 
the chub's historic habitat has been eliminated, 
restricting its current distribution to 50 miles of the 
Virgin River between Mesquite, Nevada and 
LaVerkin Creek, Utah and the Muddy River 
between the Warm Springs Bridge and the Narrows. 



Moapa Dace - Federally-Listed Endangered (Moapa 
coriacea). Moapa dace habitat is restricted to 
thermal springs at the headwaters of the Muddy 
River. While the Moapa dace do not currently 
occur on lands managed by BLM, their survival 
could be affected by activities that occur on BLM- 
administered lands in the Moapa Valley. Also, the 
Muddy River was identified as an area where BLM 
may acquire lands through exchange. Most of the 
springs that originally supported this species were 
extensively modified for private developments. The 
introduction of exotic fish and their associated 
parasites and diseases has also negatively impacted 
the Moapa dace population. Currently, the Moapa 
National Wildlife Refuge provides some spawning 
habitat for the Moapa dace. However, habitat for 
the adult fish is currently unprotected and occurs 
primarily on private property. 

Virgin River Spinedace - BLM sensitive 
(Lepidomeda m. mollispinis). The Virgin River 
spinedace was proposed for listing as threatened 
(Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 95, Wednesday, 
May 18, 1994). This species is endemic to the 
Virgin River drainage of southwestern Utah, 
northwestern Arizona, and southeastern Nevada. An 
estimated 40 percent of its historical habitat was 
degraded from human impacts, including habitat 
fragmentation, introduction of nonnative fishes, and 
dewatering. Recent surveys show that the species 
occurs in Nevada only in very low numbers. 
Because the state of Utah developed and began 
implementation of a conservation agreement for the 
spinedace, the USFWS has withdrawn the proposed 
rule to list the species as threatened (Federal 
Register, Vol. 61, No. 25, Tuesday, February 6, 
1996). 

Razorback sucker - Federally-listed Endangered 
(Xyrauchen texanus). The razorback sucker 
historically occurred in the Colorado River drainage 
(Federal Register, Vol. 56, No. 205, Wednesday, 
October 23, 1991). Its current distribution in the 
lower basin is limited to Lake Mojave and sporadic 
occurrences in Lake Mead, the Grand Canyon, and 
downstream on the mainstream and associated 
impoundments. No razorback sucker habitat occurs 
on BLM-managed lands. 

Fishes of Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge 
and Devil's Hole National Monument . Four 
Federally-listed endangered species occur in Nye 



3-34 



■grtiiiiwiB°"~~~~~TiinMBMrnr*°°™° — """"TTWIfiffiflWlBnlllir^' •••• 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

County at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife 
Refuge and Devils Hole National Monument. The 
three species occurring on the refuge are the Ash 
Meadows Amargosa pupfish {Cyprinodon 
nevadensis mionectes), Warm springs pupfish (C. n. 
pectoralis), and Ash Meadows speckled dace 
{Rhinichthys osculus nevadensis). Devils Hole 
pupfish (C.diabolis) occurs on Devil's Hole 
National Monument, which is managed by the 
National Park Service. The BLM cooperatively 
manages several inholdings within the Ash 
Meadows National Wildlife Refuge with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service. Some of these 
inholdings provide habitat for endangered fish. 
However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has 
applied to withdraw the remaining BLM inholdings 
for inclusion within the refuge. 

Special Status Birds 

Peregrine Falcon - Federally-listed endangered 
(Falco peregrinus). The Peregrine falcon has been 
sighted along the Colorado River drainage from the 
Overton State Wildlife Management Area south to 
Lake Mead, in Red Rock Canyon, in the Pahrump 
Valley, the Desert National Wildlife Range, and the 
Christmas Tree Pass area. Preferred Peregrine 
habitat include regions of sheer cliffs located in 
close proximity to riparian zones or other water 
sources where prey are readily available. Some 
areas in the Las Vegas BLM District (especially the 
Spring, Virgin, and Newberry Mountains) contain 
potentially suitable habitat for this species. 

In 1989, the Nevada Division of Wildlife 
established an Urban Peregrine Hack Program. 
Through this program, several nestling falcons were 
raised and released from a hack box on top the Las 
Vegas Hilton Hotel. These and subsequent hack- 
reared birds may select nesting sites on BLM- 
administered lands surrounding Las Vegas Valley, 
thus establishing a breeding Peregrine falcon 
population within the Las Vegas District. 

Southwest Willow Flycatcher - Federally-listed 
endangered {Empidonax trailii extimus). The 
Southwest willow flycatcher was listed on February 
27, 1995 {Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 38). The 
breeding range of the species includes southern 
California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, 
Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, southwestern 
Colorado, and extreme northwestern Mexico. The 
species is restricted to dense riparian associations of 
willow, cottonwood, buttonbush, and other 
deciduous trees and shrubs although they will use 



Tamarisk habitat as well. The Southwest willow 
flycatcher was listed due to extensive loss and 
modification of habitat and brood parasitism by the 
brown-headed cowbird. Nesting habitat for the 
Southwest willow flycatcher is found along the 
Virgin River. 

Western Burrowing Owl - BLM Sensitive {Athene 
cunicularia hypugea). Burrowing owls are found in 
suitable habitat throughout southern Nevada. The 
owls use burrows constructed by other animals, 
such as desert tortoise and badgers, for nesting. 
Available habitat for owls has declined in southern 
Nevada because of loss of habitat to urban 
expansion, particularly in the Vegas Valley. 

Ferruginous hawk - BLM Sensitive {Buteo regalis). 
No suitable nesting habitat occurs in the planning 
area. However, ferruginous hawks may winter in 
the planning area. 



Special Status Reptiles 

Desert Tortoise - Federally-listed threatened 
{Gopherus agassizii). 

Management Background . Approximately 3 million 
acres of tortoise habitat in Clark and Nye counties 
are administered by BLM. Tortoises are year-long 
residents of the planning area, generally inhabiting 
the creosote-bursage or creosote-yucca communities 
at elevations below 5,000 feet. Their forage base 
consists of native annuals, perennial grasses, cacti, 
shrubs, and some exotic species. Tortoises are a 
biologically sensitive species, being long-lived with 
a slow maturation rate and low reproduction rates. 
The species is unable to adapt to rapid 
environmental changes. Since tortoises spend the 
majority of their lives underground, they are 
particularly susceptible to surface-disturbing 
activities. 

In 1988, BLM developed the Desert Tortoise 
Habitat Management on Public Lands: A 
Rangewide Plan (USDI BLM 1988) to improve the 
status of the tortoise on public lands and to maintain 
viable populations in perpetuity. Emphasis was 
focused on increasing public awareness of tortoise 
populations and habitats, and on the categorization 
of tortoise habitat. Other management objectives 
and goals of the Rangewide Plan emphasized 
research, inventory, and monitoring programs to 
enlarge the scientific data base relating to the desert 
tortoise. Under this plan, there is high priority to 



3-35 



rjBhaMamafflpaanaiaiai 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



consistency within BLM programs to achieve the 
objectives of tortoise habitat management and 
coordination with other agencies. This plan 
categorized tortoise habitat into category I, II and in 
habitat areas. This categorization of habitat was a 
method of identifying which areas were most 
important for desert tortoise and which areas had 
the most potential for long-term management of 
desert tortoise populations. The intent of the 
Rangewide Plan was to prevent the Federal-listing 
of the desert tortoise as threatened or endangered. 
However, the plan was unsuccessful in this regard. 

Under its emergency authority, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service placed the desert tortoise on the 
Endangered Species List on August 4, 1989 
(Federal Register, Vol. 54. No. 149 Friday Aug 4). 
On April 2, 1990, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service issued a final rule listing the desert tortoise 
as a threatened species under the provisions of the 
Endangered Species Act. This act requires that the 
BLM not authorize, fund, or conduct any activity 
that threatens the continued existence of a listed 
species. 

After listing of the desert tortoise, Clark County 
prepared a Short-Term Habitat Conservation Plan 
for desert tortoise in conjunction with other local 
governments to obtain a Section 10 (a)(1)(B) permit 
allowing incidental take of desert tortoise on private 
land. As mitigation for incidental take on private 
land, the Piute Valley/Eldorado Tortoise 
Management Area was established in the southern 
part of Clark County. The SectionlO (a) Permit 
associated with the Short-Term Habitat 
Conservation Plan expired July 31, 1995 and was 
replaced by a long-term plan and associated permit. 
The Clark County Desert Conservation Plan 
addresses implementation of the Tortoise Recovery 
Plan in Clark County. For the most part, the Desert 
Conservation Plan does not depend on the Las 
Vegas BLM District Resource Management Plan for 
implementation of mitigation measures. Those 
mitigation measures of the Desert Conservation 
Plan dependent on approval of the Las Vegas BLM 
District Resource Management Plan are incorporated 
into the proposed decision. 

In 1993, several environmental groups sued the 
Department of Interior to compel designation of 
critical habitat for desert tortoise. Final critical 
habitat designation for the Mojave population was 
published in the Federal Register on February 8, 
1994 (Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 26). Three 



areas of critical habitat were designated in the Las 
Vegas BLM District 

• Piute/Eldorado, Nevada Critical Habitat Unit 

• Gold Butte, Nevada Critical Habitat Unit 

• Mormon Mesa Critical Habitat Unit. 

The Tortoise Recovery Plan, finalized in 1994, 
identifies several recovery units for desert tortoise. 
The Eastern Mojave Recovery Unit and the 
Northeastern Mojave Recovery Unit are located 
partially within Nevada. The Tortoise Recovery 
Plan recommends establishment of Desert Wildlife 
Management Areas to be managed for recovery of 
the species. (Note : The BLM is using the term 
Area of Critical Environmental Concern rather than 
a Desert Wildlife Management Area.) 

At least one Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern should be established in each recovery 
unit. These Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern would be managed for recovery of the 
desert tortoise. Each Area of Critical Environmental 
Concern should be 1,000 square miles in extent. 
Multiple smaller and more intensively managed 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern with a 
combined 1,000 square miles may be necessary in 
recovery units where individual Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern of 1,000 square miles are 
not possible. 

Tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
should be designed to meet the established 
principles of reserve design discussed below 
(USFWS 1994). 

Reserve Design 

1. Reserves should be well distributed across a 
species' native range. 

2. Large blocks of habitat containing large 
populations of the target species are superior to 
small blocks of habitat containing small 
populations. 

3. Blocks of habitat that are closer together are 
better than blocks that are far apart. 

4. Habitat that occurs in less fragmented, 
contiguous blocks is preferable to fragmented 
habitat. 

5. Habitat patches that minimize edge-to-area 
ratios are superior to those that do not. 



3-36 



■■■ 1. '. ■■■ ■ .■ .■■ ■. 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

6. Interconnected blocks of habitat are better than 
isolated blocks, and corridors or linkages 
function better when the habitat within them is 
represented by protected, preferred habitat for 
the target species. 

7. Blocks of habitat that are roadless or otherwise 
inaccessible to humans are better than roaded 
and accessible habitat blocks. 

Tortoise Population Status . One method of 
surveying desert tortoise habitat is to walk standard 
tortoise transects. Standard tortoise transacts consist 
of a 1.5 mile triangular transect (0.5 mile per side). 
All sign of tortoise within five meters of either side 
of the transect is counted. Tortoise sign includes 
tortoises (alive or dead), burrows, scat, egg shells, 
tracks, and courtship rings. The amount of sign per 
transect can be correlated with tortoise abundance 
by conducting transects on areas with known 
population levels. The relative abundance of 
tortoises in other areas can then be estimated by 
conducting tortoise transects. 

Since 1979, more than 2,000 standard tortoise 
transects have been conducted in southern Nevada. 
The transect technique generally indicates the 
relative abundance of larger tortoises and their sign. 
Transects tend to underestimate tortoise density for 
a specific location, although they clearly can 
differentiate good habitat from poor habitat (Turner 
et al. 1982). 

A second method of estimating tortoise densities 
and population trend is to conduct mark-recapture 
studies. In the Las Vegas BLM District, a total of 
eight permanent, one square mile study plots were 
established between 1979 and 1994 (two more were 
established in Caliente). These plots are read about 
every four years. Plot surveys consist of a 30 field- 
day capture period followed by a 30 field-day 
recapture period, for a total effort of 60 field-days 
per study plot. The Tortoise Recovery Plan 
(USFWS 1994) recommends the removal method of 
population estimation (Southwood 1978; Zippin 
1956, 1958) for assessing density of large immature 
and adult tortoises. Surveys would be conducted on 
kilometer square plots for 3 to 7 days. Improved 
survey techniques will be tested in future studies. 
The most appropriate method will be used to 
monitor tortoise populations in the future. 

Between 1990 and 1992, five permanent study plots 
were resampled. Data was analyzed using the 
Bailey binomial method outlined by Caughely 



(1977). Of the five plots resampled between 1990 
and 1992, the data indicates the following: 

• Two populations of adult tortoises have remained 
relatively stable or increased slightly (Sheep 
Mountain and Coyote Springs) 

• Two populations declined slightly (Christmas Tree 
Pass and Trout Canyon) 

• One populations dramatically declined (Gold 
Butte). 

In 1 994, four existing plots were resampled (Piute 
Valley, Christmas Tree Pass, Mormon Mesa and 
Gold Butte). Using the Chi Square Test at the 0.01 
level, the population on the Piute Valley plot 
appears to have increased slightly. Data indicates 
that populations remained relatively stable on the 
other three plots between 1992 to 1994. 

The Piute Valley study plot was surveyed five times 
between 1979 and 1994. The data indicate that a 
significant decrease in the number of adult tortoises 
occurred between 1979 and 1983, likely due to 
drought conditions. Between 1983 and 1987, 
numbers of adults remained constant, but the 
number of tortoises with less than 180 millimeter 
mid-carapace length declined by approximately 50 
percent. The total estimated number of tortoises on 
the plot decreased between 1987 and 1989, although 
the actual numbers of subadult and adult tortoises 
captured were approximately the same. By 1989, it 
appeared that the density of tortoises on the Piute 
Valley Study plot had begun to stabilize. Data from 
1994 further supports a stable population, but at a 
lower population density than that estimated in 
1979. 

Since 1 990, signs of upper respiratory tract disease 
were documented on five permanent study plots 
(Coyote Springs, Christmas Tree Pass, Piute Valley, 
Mormon Mesa and Gold Butte). None of the 
animals observed showed chronic signs of the 
respiratory disease, and none were tested for the 
presence of Pasteurella or Mycoplasma. 

Osteoporosis is described as the thinning of bone 
and is exemplified by the concavity of tortoise 
scutes. Sunken scutes in young tortoises is 
generally considered to be a sign of malnutrition. 
This condition was documented on all permanent 
study plots sampled between 1990 and 1994. Shell 
disease was documented on all permanent study 
plots sampled between 1990 and 1994. 

Proposed Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concerns . One goal of the Proposed Resource 



3-37 



^^^nHHH^HBBH^^ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact 
Statement is to manage for the recovery of the 
desert tortoise, as defined in the Tortoise Recovery 
Plan (USFWS 1994). As outlined in the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan, Desert Wildlife Management Areas 
were proposed. Because this is not an official BLM 
designation, they were identified as Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern. 

The proposed Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern were developed to closely coincide with 
proposed critical habitat for desert tortoise, the 
Piute-Eldorado Tortoise Management Area 
identified in the Clark County Short-Term Habitat 
Conservation Plan and the recovery areas outlined 
in the Tortoise Recovery Plan. 

Densities of tortoises within the Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern were estimated using strip- 
transect data and study plot data. The following 
assumptions were made: 

1 . Estimated densities were based on methods 
described by Karl (1981) for Lincoln and Nye 
counties, and selected sites in Southern Nevada 
(Schneider and Turner 1982). The strip transect 
methods cited above use the total adjusted sign 
values shown in Table 3-16. 

2. A high and low density estimate was calculated 
based upon strip-transect data. 

3. For analytic purposes, a range of 140 to 160 
tortoises per square mile was assigned to 
transects with total adjusted sign of greater than 
or equal to 12. 

Table 3-17 displays proposed Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, adjacent habitats, and 
estimated tortoise densities within those areas. 

"The desert tortoise spends approximately ninety 
eight percent of its life in a subterranean 
environment where the burrow protects it from the 
cold winters, hot summers, and predators (Nagy and 
Medica 1986). During its active periods, the desert 
tortoise requires vegetation for forage and cover. 
Certain plants provide forage and nutritive 
requirements and surface cover for protection from 
the hot summer sun and predators (Jennings 1993; 
Weinstein et al. 1987). The soil and vegetation and 
their related properties including microenvironment 
are expected to play an important role in the density 
and distribution of tortoise within an area (Wilson 



and Stager 1992; Weinstein et al. 1987; Woodbury 
and Hardy 1948; Miller and Stebbins 1964). 



Table 3-16. Estimated densities of tortoise, based 
on total adjusted sign. 

Total Adjusted Estimated Density 

Sign Per Square mile 

1-10 

1-3 10-45 

4 . 7 -:: : 45-90 

g-ll : 90-140 

12 : : ■ >140 

[Methodology: Karl (1981), Schneider and 



It is likely that a combination of soil temperature, 
soil properties, landform/micro environment, and 
vegetative community characteristics offer a method 
to interpret habitat suitability and quality for the 
desert tortoise (Lato and Stager 1997). Soil 
temperature is measured at a depth of 20 inches, 
which is the average depth of a tortoise winter 
burrow. A soil that is too cold or too hot on an 
average annual basis for a reptile such as the 
tortoise to regulate its body temperature would not 
offer a suitable habitat for large populations and 
could be restrictive. Soil properties that would be 
considered include rock (gravel) content and size, 
soil texture, consistence, pH, color, effervescence, 
cementation, and depth to a restrictive layer. These 
properties could restrict or enhance burrowing or 
digging by the tortoise providing more or less 
habitat, respectively. 

The landform and associated micro environments 
would also effect habitat. Whether a landform is 
dissected or non-dissected by drainages (the 
dissected landform would offer more micro 
environment potential than the non-dissected), north 
or south facing slopes on a macro or micro- 
environment basis (a south slope being hotter and 
drier), presence of coppice dunes or boulders with 
underground pockets for burrowing etc. would be 
important considerations. 



3-38 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Table 3-17. Estimated tortoise numbers in proposed ACECs and adjacent habitats. 



Manager 



j Mesa 



2>43 



Median Number 

of Tortoises 

(Adults) 

8,260 






ow Canyon 
rk County Bl 






1,540-3,080 


2,310 


7,440-13,700 10,570 


2,950-8,850 
:; ; : . 2,625-7,875 


5,900 

::::;:: : ;v : :;; : 5,250 flfl 



Coyote Spring 


;: : 115::: : 




x;:;. 1,150-5,175 ::::::: 


3,163 


Total -Coyote Spring 


401 : : x 




8,300-26,625 


: 17,463: 


Gold Butte NV BLM 


293 


10-20 


' ■■■:': 2,930-5,860 : Ml 


■"■: >i : 3'Q< ; 


Gold Butte AZ BLM 




1-20 




3,350 


\jQi.Cf: ijlUttC : JKZ* Di-.JVL 






2,880-7,200 :■:■':':':'■:■':■'■ 


5,040 


Gold Butte NPS : 


130 


10-20 


1,300-2,600 7 : ;; :.:.:: 


1,950 


Total -Gold Butte 


886 




7,429-22,040 


14,735 


Piute Valley NV BLM 


358;: : 


40-63 


:14.320-22,554 


18,437 


Eldorado Valley NV BLM 




10-20 


2,930-5.860 


1,794 


Lake Mead NRA 


4,395 



28,360-63,810 46,085 



3-39 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-17. Estimated tortoise numbers in proposed ACECs and adjacent habitats (concluded). 



Area Square Miles < 
of Habitat 


Relative 
Density 

(Adults) 


Estimated Number 

of Tortoises 

(Adults) 


Median Number 
of Tortoises 


*Ivanpah CHTJ CA BLM 


988; > : S 


15 


14.820 




:: : ::.:;.|:0Ui^^ 

Conservation Easement 


:.:,;:13||:|| 


6-17 ■:■:' 


798-2,261 




Total - Eldorado/ 
Piute Valley 


2,637 




62,164-111,957 




Totals 


4,314 




85,333-174,322 





Square miles, of habitat for California based on designated critical habitat and may inctud> 
within: the Western Mojave: RU, ■':■: 



^ 



, 



Existing plant community characteristics (such as 
canopy cover, perennial grass composition by air 
dry weight, species diversity, and nutritional value.) 
would play a role in habitat assessment. 

It should be clarified that the potential vegetation in 
a particular location depends on the soils present 
there while the reverse does not hold true. This 
equates to vegetation being the dependent variable. 
Additionally, soils and landforms are considered 
stable factors that do not vary in their inherent 
characteristics under normal circumstances. 
Therefore, the soil temperature, soil properties, and 
landform/micro environment would receive a 
heavier weighting or consideration in habitat 
consideration for burrowing animals. Vegetation 
characteristics (such as cover, production, nitrogen 
content, rare elements present) would be used to 
understand when soils of similar characteristics have 
significantly different measured populations of 
desert tortoise and/or overall animal health and 
fitness." 

Special Status Reptiles: Others 

Chuckwalla - BLM sensitive : (Sauromalus obesus). 
Chuckwallas are a large, herbivorous lizard. They 
are generally found below 5,000 feet in elevation, in 
rock outcrops and rocky slopes. Chuckwallas 
generally are not found on the valley floors. 
Detailed geographic distribution within the Las 



Vegas District is not well described and is generally 
patchy, based upon suitable habitat. Suitable habitat 
may be found in most mountain ranges in the Las 
Vegas BLM District. 

Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum). 
The gila monster is a State of Nevada protected, and 
rare species (NAC 503.080 and 503.090). The gila 
monster inhabits the Colorado River Basin and 
Central Region Hydrographic units (See Map 3-4a). 
Within the Las Vegas District, gila monsters are 
known to occur in the Spring Mountains, 
McCullough Mountains, Highland Range, River 
Mountains, Eldorado Mountains, Newberry 
Mountains, Arrow Canyon Range, North Muddy 
Mountains, Nelson Hills, the Virgin River 
floodplain, and Meadow Valley Wash. 

Gila monsters are often found in association with 
springs and major ephemeral and perennial 
tributaries of the Colorado River. It is found 
primarily below 5,000 feet in elevation, particularly 
near the interfaces of complex rocky slopes, washes, 
riparian-xerophyll woodland and loose textured 
soils. These areas provide the biotic productivity 
necessary for prey availability during the spring and 
early summer, and also nesting sites and thermal 
cover. The gila monster spends up to 90 percent of 
its time underground and thus is not often observed. 



H 



3-40 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Special Status Mammals 

Bats , The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified 
12 special status bat species as potentially occurring 
in the planning area (USDI USFWS, File no. 1-5- 
95-SP-066, February 9, 1995). Generally, very little 
information is available on the distribution, 
abundance, or habitat needs of these species within 
Nevada. Potential nesting and roosting habitat 
occurs sporadically throughout the Las Vegas BLM 
District in caves, crevices, and abandoned mine 
tunnels. The species of bats are listed in Appendix 
B. 

Special Status Invertebrates 

Numerous invertebrate species are found on Ash 
Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. However, 
BLM has little management authority for the area. 
Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is 
working to withdraw the remaining BLM inholdings 
in the refuge. 

Four special status invertebrates species occur on 
Big Dune and Lava Dune in Nye County. These 
are all BLM sensitive species and include: 

• Giuliani's dune scarab beetle (Pseudocotalpa 
giulianii) 

* Aegialian dune scarab beetle (Aegialia 
magnified) 

Big Dune aphodius beetle (Aphodius spj 
Rulien's miloderes weevil (Miloderes rulieni). 

Lava Dune is partially located on patented land 
while Big Dune is public land. 

Two special status invertebrates occur in the Muddy 

River system: 

Moapa pebblesnail (Fluminicola avernalis) 
Moapa Warm Springs riffle beetle (Stenelimis 
calida moapa). 

The Moapa Warm Springs riffle beetle is a BLM 
sensitive species. Both are located primarily in the 
springs at the headwaters of the Muddy River. 
Currently, BLM has no management responsibility 
for habitat for these species. 

Special Status Amphibians 

The Virgin and Muddy rivers contain potential 
habitat for the Arizona southwestern toad (Bufo 
micro scaphus), a BLM sensitive species; and the 
relict leopard frog (Rana onca). The relict leopard 
frog was considered to be extinct. However, this 



classification is currently under investigation after 
discovery of what appears to be relict leopard frogs 
in two springs on Lake Mead National Recreation 
Area. 

Special Status Plant Species 

The Las Vegas BLM District is home for many 
special status species that include Federally-listed 
threatened, endangered, candidate, state-listed and 
BLM sensitive species (Map 3-6). It is BLM policy 
(BLM Manual 6840) to: 

Manage the habitats of all special status 

species. 

Prevent future federal listing of species. 

• Ensure the recovery of listed species. 

• Ensure that any federal actions authorized, 
funded or carried out are not likely to 
jeopardize the existence of any such species 

Seven plant species known to occur in the planning 
area were designated as Federally-listed threatened 
or endangered; all of these species are found in the 
Ash Meadows area. Table 3-18 lists these special 
status plants. 

Table 3-18 also documents the species within the 
Las Vegas BLM District that are officially 
recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as 
candidates for listing as threatened or endangered 
species {Federal Register, Notice of Review, 
2/28/96). 

Table 3-19 lists other special status species that are 
of special management concern due to restricted 
habitats, limited distribution, or lack of information. 
Special status species include those listed by the 
Nevada Division of Forestry as critically 
endangered. Map 3-6 shows the general locations 
for special status plant species within the Las Vegas 
BLM District. 



Forestry Resources 
Woodland Products 

As a result of the Forest Enhancement Act of 1989, 
the number of acres of harvestable woodlands in the 
Las Vegas BLM District was greatly reduced. All 
pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Spring Mountains 
are now included in the Charleston District of the 



3-41 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-18. Federally listed threatened and endangered, and candidate plants. Note: all species listed below 
are also listed as Critically Endangered by the State of Nevada. 



Endangered 


Ash Meadows nitcrwort : 


Nitrophila mohavensis 


^^^m^y:;^:-};^^ 


Ash Meadows milkvetch 
Spring-loving centuary 
Ash Meadows gumplant 
Ash Meadows ivesia : 
Ash Meadows blazing star 
Ash : Meadows sunray 


Grmdelia fraxina-pratensis 
Ivesia kingiivar. eremra 
- Mentzeha leucophylla 
Encdiopsis nudicaulis var. corrugata 


Candidate:; -;^ : - ; : . . : 




Opuntia Whipple i multigehicuiata 


(Source: File No. 1-5-95-SP-066 USFWS, Nevada Ecologi 
Notice: of Review, February 28, 1996, pp 7596. See. also 
: 'Endangered Flora.) ■'. 


cal Services, Office, 2/13/95 and Federal Register 
State of Nevada NRS 527.260-.300 for/Critically 



Table 3-19. BLM special status plant species, including those listed as Critically Endangered by the State of 
Nevada Division of Forestry (marked with (*)) . 



Scientific Name 

Angelica scabrida 

Areiomecon cahformca* 

Arctomecon mernamii 

Astragalus aequalis 

Astragalus amphtoxys var. rru4simonum 

Astragalus funereus 

Astragalus geyeri var triquetrm"- 

Astragalus moMvensis var. hemigyrus' r 

Astragalus mokiacensis 

Astragalus remotus 

Botrychium erenulatum 

Calochartus striata s 

Chrysothamnuseremobius 

Cordylamhus tecopens'is 

Cryptantha insoliia*+ 

Cymopterus ripleyi var. saniculaides 

Didymodon nevadensis 

Enceliopsis argopJxylla 

Epilobiumnevademe 



Erigeron.ovinus 
EriogonumMfiircatum . 
Enogonum corymbosum var. aureum. 
Eriogonum heermanmi var. clokeyt \ 
Enogonum viscidulum* 
Glossopetalon pungens 
; vaiygiafrra v 
lonactts caelestis 
Ivesia jaeger i 

Ix>matmm graveolens var, ciarkii 
Penstemon albomargmatus 
Penstemon bkolor ' ssp bicolor 
Penstemon fruticiformis 

Phacelia parishii ' 
Salvia do rruv&i ctokeyi 
Spiranthes infernalis 
Townsendiajonesii 

var lumulosa 



Key: 

+: ; Presumed ;extincl in Nevada ; : ■■: ■ : ■ : 

(Source Nevada BLM Special Status Species list March 1997, 

Critically Endangered Flora). . 



ite of Nevac 






- 



527.260- 



tauaBt 



3-42 



mwr ~— — —mmm 



*■■■■:■: :V: ..'.,'' .' ..:■■■ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Toiyabe National Forest. The Virgin Mountains 
support pinyon-juniper woodland, but a lack of 
roads make the areas inaccessible for harvesting. 
Pinyon-juniper stands in the planning area are 
decadent, even-age stands, with minimal evident 
regeneration. Very little understory is present due 
to shading and competition for nutrients and 
available moisture. The Virgin Mountains contain a 
small, relict stand of white fir; no harvest of this 
species is permitted in the Las Vegas BLM District. 

Mesquite wood was harvested in an area located 
approximately 70 miles west of Las Vegas, in the 
eastern Amargosa Desert. This area partially 
surrounds a large playa and has little potential for 
additional production or improvement. The 
mesquite "stands" are thin and uneven-aged, with 
little or no regeneration. The stand was closed to 
wood harvest due to the conflict with identified 
sensitive resources. 

Other Vegetative Resources 

Although the Las Vegas BLM District has no 
formal program for harvest of desert vegetation, 
many species are made available to the public when 
destruction of plants is imminent as a result of 
construction or development (such as powerline 
installations and mining activities). Salvage permits 
are issued to individuals, nursery owners, and 
landscapers for collection of Joshua trees, barrel 
cactus, beavertail cactus, prickly pear, and other 
small cacti. Free-use permits authorizing collection 
of desert vegetation have also been issued for 
educational or scientific research purposes. 

Non-sale Disposals-Recreation Use 

Recreationists collect limited amounts of vegetative 
products for personal use, including but not limited 
to dead and downed timber for campfires, flowers, 
berries, nuts, seeds, cones and leaves, in accordance 
with 43 CFR 8000 and BLM Manual 5500. 



Livestock Grazing 

The Las Vegas BLM District is divided into 53 
grazing allotments comprising approximately 
2,867,508 acres of public lands (see Map 2-8), with 
689,852 acres of unalloted public lands. Of that 
total, only 1 9 allotments could be considered active 
over the past seven years. Grazing allotments were 
originally delineated in 1934; allotment boundaries, 
grazing preference (number of animal unit months), 



season of use, and base property (private land or 
water rights) were established. Active grazing use 
was authorized through Term Desert Permits, 
generally issued for a period of 10 years. 

In 1969, all grazing allotments in Clark County 
were designated as ephemeral in response to the 
Ephemeral Range Rule of 1968. This rule provides 
a description of rangelands characterized as 
ephemeral or annual in nature, as well as special 
rules for administering those ephemeral rangelands. 
The complete text of the Ephemeral Range Rule is 
provided in Appendix E. The special rules in the 
Ephemeral Range Rule take precedence over certain 
requirements in the grazing regulations in 43 CFR 
4000. On the ephemeral allotments, grazing 
preference was totally eliminated and season of use 
became contingent on the availability of ephemeral 
forage. 

As a result of development of Clark County's Short- 
Term Habitat Conservation Plan for the Desert 
Tortoise (1991), six active grazing allotments were 
purchased in cooperation with or by The Nature 
Conservancy. Additional allotments may be 
purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 
cooperation with Clark County in the future. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a 
Biological Opinion (File No. 1-5-91-F-36), which 
identified restrictions on livestock grazing 
throughout the Las Vegas BLM District. These 
restrictions are, and will remain, in effect until the 
BLM reinitiates consultation with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service. Each allotment was divided into 
prescription areas based on the importance of the 
tortoise habitat. On all Prescription 1 areas, 
grazing is not allowed from March 1st to June 14th. 
On Prescription 2 areas, grazing use can be season- 
long with restrictions on the utilization level of key 
forage species. On the Prescription 3 areas, which 
do not have any restrictions based on desert tortoise, 
grazing occurs contingent on existing livestock 
grazing management practices. 

Allotments range in size from 90 to 312,000 acres. 
Ten allotments contain lands within the Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area; grazing is administered 
by BLM on public lands and on Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area, under a cooperative 
agreement with the National Park Service. The 
Clark County Management Framework Plan and 
Esmeralda-Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan designated the types of livestock authorized to 
graze each allotment within the planning areas. 



3-43 



:ams^a-aaaadsg 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 






Table 3-20 provides additional information on the 
status of the allotments. 

Revised regulations for grazing administration (43 
CFR 4100) of public lands managed by the Bureau 
of Land Management became effective August 21, 
1995. Subpart 4180 of the regulations requires the 
BLM State Directors, in consultation with Resource 
Advisory Councils, to develop standards for 
rangeland health and guidelines for grazing 
administration for BLM lands within a region or 
state. Standards and guidelines are developed to 
identify characteristics of healthy ecosystems on 
public lands and the management actions to promote 
them. Standards and guidelines for a region or state 
must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior. 

On February 12, 1997, the standards and guidelines 
for three regions in Nevada were approved by the 
Secretary of the Interior. The standards and 
guidelines developed through the Resource Advisory 
Council process for the Mojave-Southern Great 
Basin Area apply to livestock grazing in the Las 
Vegas BLM Resource Management Plan planning 
area. These standards for rangeland health and 
guideline for grazing administration are in Appendix 
L of this document. 

Grazing allotments were categorized according to 
their potential to respond to management. The three 
categories of management priority for allotments 
include: 

"I" for improve - These allotments have the 

highest need and priority for intensive 

management. 
"M" for maintain - These are allotments where 

present conditions and management are 

satisfactory 
• "C" for custodial - These allotments, for a 

variety of reasons, have low management 

priority. 

Most livestock operators in the planning area have 
breeding herds rather than stocker-feeder operations. 
Numbers of livestock ranged from as few as 12 
cows, to as many as 625. All permittees were 
dependent on Federal range for grazing, because the 
majority of use occurred on water-leased allotments. 
Notable exceptions are Mt. Stirling, Bunkerville, 
and Upper Mormon Mesa, which are land base 
allotments. 

The season of grazing use (authorized grazing 
period) is normally designated through land use 



planning and can range from a few days to a full 
year. On ephemeral range, however, the season of 
use depends on the production of ephemeral forage, 
which can change from year to year. A season of 
use is not, therefore, formally designated on 
ephemeral range. In the planning area, 15 
allotments were grazed year-long with the 
permittees making applications to graze at regular 
intervals throughout the year. Range inspections are 
made prior to grazing authorizations to determine if 
adequate forage is available, or if the potential to 
produce forage exists. Measurements of soil 
moisture and volume of forage produced provide the 
basis for issuing a grazing authorization. 

Activity level planning, in the form of Allotment 
Management Plans, is undertaken to ensure that 
land use planning decisions are correctly applied on 
a site-specific basis. An Allotment Management 
Plan generally establishes a formal grazing system, 
designating the type and number of livestock and 
the season of use. 

Management of grazing use on the non-Allotment 
Management Plan allotments generally occurs 
through an informal system by which the permittee 
uses the location and availability of water to control 
the movement of livestock within the allotment. 
Weather conditions can also influence the location 
and movement of the animals. During the summer, 
for example, high temperatures and the lack of 
shade in some areas will cause livestock to seek 
cover and forage at higher elevations. Range 
improvements such as fences, spring developments, 
wells, pipelines, and troughs can be owned either by 
the permittee or the BLM. In many cases, BLM 
furnishes materials and the permittee provides labor 
for construction of projects under a cooperative 
management agreement. 

The National Park Service issued a two-year notice 
closing National Park Service administered lands in 
the Gold Butte Allotment. The U.S. Forest Service 
did not renew grazing permits/leases for the 
Wheeler Wash and Mt. Stirling allotments. 

Monitoring and evaluation of the effects of livestock 
grazing occurred on 18 allotments. Only those 
allotments placed in the "Improve" or "Maintain" 
categories have intensive monitoring studies at this 
time. Other allotments have minimal studies are 
conducted (example: use pattern mapping) 



I 






3-44 



-THniiimiiii— nwnw 



■■■■UHliE 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-20. Livestock allotment use. 



Acton-Far 



m Canyon 
reRidge*3 

,f float P^at 



Average 
Licensed Use 
lAUMs) 1984-93*1 



iiii 

■246 

mm 
2im 



fenc 

of Use I 



Sep-Nov 
Mar-May 
Sep-Nov 



Dry Lake 
Rat Top Mesa 



76 



H:Wi£tw 



Mar-M 



Hen Springs 



. V : 


■ V-:JFteSiei.:;.-: 

TNC 


Y/L 


723 


:; R. Jensen 


Mar-May 




J. Wittwer 


. Sep-Nov 


■51 : 


: ;:: :L. Hardy 


: Mar-May 




V. Knight 


Sep-Nov 




0. Simmons 






W, Pulsipher 






B. Jensen 


: r No: Use 




D. Whitney 


Mar-May 


404 




;; Sep-Nov 


87 


J -f. Hayworth 
. B. Jensen 


Mar-May 




P.Glough 


. Mar-May 




ICSearles 





m 8, 



17,8: 



/ell 



My 

;:0 



193 



634 



372 



arles: 



; rUnalloted 

j " E; Larson;: 

R. Limdgren 

D. Lamoreau 

J. Riggs 

D.-M. Gates 

P. Lewis: 

G, Perkins 

K. Searles 



No¥s 



■NoLfee; 
Mar-May 



Mar-May 

Sep-Nov 

Oet-May 

Mar-May 



3-45 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-20. Livestock allotment use (concluded) 





Class 


■ : -:-; ■Average 


Operator(s) 


Period 


Kind of Acres 








Licensed Use 




of Use *2 : 


Livestock (BLM) 






M : ^ 


(AUMs) 1984-93*1 








White: Basin*5 :■.■:.■■■■ 


: JtQO :\ 


E. Lcavitt 


Mar-May 


Cattle 97,454 










L. Leavitt 


Sep-Nov 


(P) 78.631 


Virgin River . . 








: : V. Knight 


Y/L 




Bottom 








C. Simmons 






' TMti Stirling : 




■■; -.1"-;": 


:: 517 Bow and Arrow 














Cattle Co. 






IretebaPks.*5/*9 














Hidden Valley ;:,,.:;: 








Leon: Sprouse 


Mar-May 

Noy-Peh: : 


Cattle 63,621 


McCulloughMtrrs-^ 














Christmas Tree*5/*9 




C 




.-.■ 


E.Soto 


No Use 


----- ol,/04 


Crescent Peak* 9 (AMP) 


: 1 


'■■"— : 


"TNC 










c 




Dawson 










c 


■•:!:- : : ; .::!<% h 


K. Kindred 










c 





K. : J)T?u:ri OvK 






Table Mountain 




c 


' 


vVhipple-Davis 






Ctrirrm Qnrinoc^il ' 




c* 




R« Wiley 


Y/L 

fyTav-Nov 


14,502 

Horses 99,839 

Cattle 64,701 

::...„:::: : 237,890 i 
....-;■ ;;■;, 72.277 
:....:. 3 732 


Unallotted. : :. 




c 










^Unallotted 1 




e 










Unallotted 




c 








:;■;:;.;::.;,;,■■■■■■ ":-•-■ ^ : ^,m£A$y- : 


:^Ash:MeadowS*8 : :;: : :: 




■'■ c 








-—120:: 


■vCarsonSlough^^^;^:;:.; 










!.~— .;: : 


-—13,842 


County Line 








— 




— 6,720 


: Grapevine-Rock*8 












6,844 


Totals 












2,867,508 
(P/R) 411,576 



withdrawal;- ; : ■ 

*1 Numbers: fluctuated due to ephemeral 
■;;■;■ classi fi cat to it ; averages used . : ■ '"■■■ 
'% Not formally designated; categories reflect: 
: : ; pas t TO years use. 



*3 Administered by Arizon-a 6tnp iJistuct. 
*4 Used only 1 year since 1976. 
*5 Includes acreage inside Lake Mead NRA, 
*6 No operator, base owners not in livestock: 

business. :: 
*7 Grazing not allowed; base waters not on 



3-46 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 


^WWK-I^.W^^ri^^JtMM^.^^lBWftWW^™^ 




Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 






Table 3-21. Livestock-range studies. 

— ^i^ 






Allotment Name Dates Studies 
and Category Established 


Number of 
Yeajrs of Data 


Tvoes of Studies 


Arrow Canyon (M) i 1986 


3 




Azure Ridge (I) 1981(AZ) 


6 




Billy Goat Peak (I) 1987 






Bunkerville (I) 1982 




U,PT,F.EPT,A,UM,Veg. T. 


: Christmas Tree Pass (I) . ; : 1985 ; 


. *r ■ ■ 


UF EP EPT A PT CC UM 


; Crescent Peak{I)(AMP) : ■ 1972 


16 


U.EP A PT PPT CC F EPT 


Gold Butte (1) 1982 


5 


F,U,PT.EP ( EPT,A,UM,Veg T. 


Hen Springs(M) 1987 


: MM£^&SMt: 


U UM AEP 


Hidden Valley (D 1987 




:: ■- U,EP 7 A,PT,UM 


; Ireteba Peaks (I) 1982 




F PT EPT EP A TIM 


Jean Lake (I) \ 1977,82 :: : 


•■W-':-:'y:<:- ' ---A:- :>v : : x : : 


U,F,EP,A,EPT,CC,PT,UM 


Lucky Strike (M) 1988 


1 




McCullough Mtn (!) : 1982 : 


■ 5 


U,EP,A,PT,CC,F,EPT.UM 


Mesquite Community: (I) ; : : 1981(AZ) 


7 


U,PT,A,Pace Ereq„5 , x5' PT 


Spring Mtn. : : 1988 ■ ;: 1L--- 




F,PPT,UM 


: Upper Mormon Mesa (I) 1987 




FPFPTTTTIMA 


Wheeler Wash (1) 1988 






White Basin (M) 1988 






Mount Stirling (T) 1988 


'S&M^r- 




Note: Only those allotments categorized as "Improve" or 


"Maintain" Have studies. 


Key: 






U . >: Key area: utilization.:: .;;.; 






EP : Ephemeral Production, Allotments evaluated 


upon receipt: of gR 


l^g^^^^^/-^;:-;.^: 


EPT Ephemeral production for crucial tortoise habitat, 




PT Photo Trend, usually m a key area at trend or frequency plot. 




CC Cover Composition; percent cover and plant composition based 




■ ■' P : . ; ; : : sprequency : Trend. : : : : : ; 






A Actual Use, 






PPT Precipitation, 






UM : Use Map. 






1 Veg.T. Vegetation Trend Plot other than: 5"x5\ 






(Source: BLM- Las Vegas District Office files, 1991.) 






3-47 



■ i£r\ : m%mmsaaem 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Monitoring includes the following range studies: 
current year's utilization, condition and trend, cover 
composition, frequency, actual use, and ephemeral 
production. Table 3-21 indicates which allotments 
have been monitored and the types of studies 
conducted. 



Wild Horse and Burro Management 

Background 

On December 15, 1971, Congress enacted the Wild 
and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, 
authorizing BLM to manage wild horses and burros 
on public lands. The Act mandated that wild and 
free-roaming horses and burros be protected from 
unauthorized capture, branding, harassment, or 
death. These animals are to be considered an 
integral part of the natural system, based on their 
distribution at the time the law was enacted. 

Wild horses and burros are found in eight Herd 
Management Areas throughout the Las Vegas BLM 
District, including the Spring Mountains, the Muddy 
Mountains, the Eldorado Mountains, and in the 
Gold Butte region (see Map 2-1). Management of 
six Herd Management Areas is identified in this 
plan, with Wheeler Pass Herd Management Area 
managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The Red 
Rocks Herd Management Area will be analyzed in 
the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 
General Management Plan. The wild horse 
population is estimated at approximately 65 animals. 
In addition, the planning area supports 
approximately 108 burros. The number of wild 
horses and burros occurring within the Las Vegas 
BLM District represents less than one percent of 
Nevada's wild horse population and approximately 
20 percent of the state's burro numbers. 

Burros inhabit the lower desert areas throughout the 
year. Wild horses are found at lower elevations 
during the winter, then retreat to the mountains 
during the summer months. Both wild horses and 
burros have been observed at distances over 10 
miles from permanent water sources. In the Spring 
Mountains, waters are found high in the foothills, 
allowing wild horses and burros year-round use of 
the same sources. Burros found in the Muddy 
Mountains, Eldorado, and Gold Butte Herd 
Management Areas have historically used Lake 
Mead and Mohave as the most reliable water 



sources during the summer months. 

It is assumed that the wild horses and burros in the 
planning area were influenced by the domestic 
animals that either escaped from, or were released 
by, their owners, possibly dating back to those 
animals brought by the Spanish. 

Many of today's wild horses were altered by 
registered animals released by local ranchers to 
"upgrade" the wild herds by introducing new 
genetic characteristics into the gene pool of the 
herd. The object of this upgrading was to produce 
better wild horses for eventual capture and sale or 
for use by the ranchers. 

The colors of wild horses in the Las Vegas BLM 
District range from white or light gray to black, 
with all colors except appaloosa represented. Most 
of the wild horses are bay, brown, or sorrel, but 
other colors such as chestnut, pinto, roan, palomino, 
grulla, and buckskin are well represented in the 
various herds. Some color patterns are beginning to 
emerge among herds in the Spring Mountains. A 
larger proportion of pintos are found near the west 
end of this range, and more buckskins and 
palominos occur in the wild horse herds in the 
eastern Spring Mountains. Burro colors grade from 
tan or gray to black, brown, red or pink, and 
occasionally white. The gray or fawn color is 
predominant, with brown, black, pink/red, and white 
found in decreasing percentages. Gray or fawn 
burros have a black dorsal and shoulder stripe, with 
a few showing leg stripes as well. Some of the 
brown burros also have a faint shoulder and dorsal 
stripe. 

The diets of wild horses and burros show a 
moderately low degree of overlap, with wild horses 
consuming more grasses and burros utilizing more 
shrubs. Both species consume forbs when these 
plants are available, although burros tend to eat 
more dry forbs, and wild horses prefer more dry 
grasses. The diets of both have a moderate-to-high 
overlap with cattle. Burros compete more directly 
than do wild horses with wildlife for forage. 

Urban expansion and increased recreational use of 
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area are impacting 
wild horse and burro herds in the Spring Mountains 
and the Muddy Mountains Herd Management Areas. 



3-48 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-22. Wild horse and burro herd management areas. 



d Area 



Ash Meadows 
Arnargosa* 
Eldorado Mtns. 
Gold Butte 
Johnnie 
Muddy: Mtns, 



Current Population 

Estimate 
Horses Burros 



2<5: 

37 



Current 



Other 
Federal 



177,662 
77.040 . 

547,096 



332;?'; 



Arnargosa: is retained as an HMA, but 
rce: BLM, Las Vegas District Office: files IS 



animals due to a lack of forage and water on 



Table 3-22 shows wild horse herd information and 
includes the Ash Meadows Herd Management Area, 
which was inadvertently omitted from prior 
planning documents. Due to conflicts with private 
lands and Federally-listed threatened and 
endangered species, the Appropriate Management 
Level was set at zero for this Herd Management 
Area. Any wild horses or burros that move into this 
Herd Management Area will be scheduled for 
removal. In 1985, approximately 215 horses (which 
represents the entire population at that time) were 
removed from the Ash Meadows Herd Management 
Area. Subsequent wild horse and burro removals 
will maintain Herd Management Area at the 
Appropriate Management Level. 

The National Park Service recommended that all 
wild burros be removed from the Eldorado Herd 
Management Area to lessen impacts on the 
environment and conflicts with developments within 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Through a 
cooperative agreement with the BLM, the U.S. 
Forest Service manages the Wheeler Pass Herd 
Management Area, which includes lands of both 
agencies. 

State Route 160 was fenced in 1995 to provide 
additional safety for the public, as well as the wild 
horses and burros along the route. BLM 
coordinated with the Nevada Department of 



Transportation to ensure that underpasses were 
constructed where horses and burros could access 
the Herd Management Area on bom sides of the 
right-of-way fence. 



Cultural and Paleontological Resources 
Management 

Cultural Resources 

Cultural resources are the tangible remains of past 
human activities. The Las Vegas BLM District 
encompasses a unique region, being located at the 
interface of three distinct geographical zones: 

• Colorado Plateau 

• Mojave Desert 

• Great Basin. 

Each zone shows evidence of the distinctive cultural 
groups who adapted to the natural resources of the 
area. All prehistoric Native Americans employed 
hunting and gathering methods to acquire at least 
some of their foods; these resource collection 
practices are reflected in the archeological record. 
Seeds, nuts, roots, and pods were collected from a 
variety of plants, including cacti, agave, yucca, 
grasses, mesquite, and pinyon pine. Stone tools such 
as man os and metates used to grind the seeds and 
nuts, knives, sharpened stone flakes, and chopping 



3-49 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



tools are found in archeological sites that record 
these plant procurement and processing activities. 

Rabbits, desert tortoises, coyotes, rodents, bighorn 
sheep, and mule deer were prey for prehistoric 
hunters. The atlatl, a wooden device used to throw 
long, stone-tipped darts, was used prior to A.D. 500. 
After that time, the bow and arrow was the 
preferred hunting weapon. Projectile points, 
associated debris from stone tool making, and 
hunting blinds mark the locations of these past 
events. 

Hunter-gatherers moved seasonally within a series 
of environmental zones, living in open camps, brush 
structures, and caves. Extended family groups 
collected maturing plant resources and hunted 
seasonally abundant game. This adaptation to arid 
land resources is placed by archaeologists within the 
period called the Archaic. Such hunter-gatherer 
occupations in southern Nevada begin about 11,000 
B.C., as documented by the prehistoric site of Tule 
Springs in the northwest Las Vegas Valley 
(Wormington and Ellis 1967). Heaviest use of the 
region occurred within the last 5,000 years. Gypsum 
Cave, located northeast of Las Vegas, has yielded 
evidence of continual use by different cultural 
groups from about 3,000 B.C. into historic times 
(Harrington 1933). Due to the variety of resources, 
availability of water, and the accessibility of shelter 
caves, Red Rock Canyon was also extensively used. 

Specific artifacts and features indicate the kinds of 
activities that occurred in the process of the 
seasonal round. Roasting pits, which are circular 
pits used primarily to roast bulbs from the agave 
plant, are common in limestone geologic zones. In 
addition to agave, Blair (1986) notes that other 
plants and animals were cooked in these pits. 
Roasting pits are often associated with milling 
stones or other food processing equipment, lithic 
materials, and sometimes ceramics. Excavations 
were conducted at several roasting pits in Hidden 
Valley, west of Valley of Fire. These field 
investigations yielded numerous artifacts, but 
problems with their internal stratigraphy makes 
dating of these features difficult. 

Roasting pits are often found in association with 
caves or rockshelters. Aboriginal peoples 
commonly used these natural formations as shelters 
and as storage areas for small quantities of collected 
resources, tools, and other personal possessions. 
Evidence of their fires can be found in the 



blackened staining on the walls and ceilings of such 
caves. The remnants of food processing equipment 
and toolmaking activities, as well as seeds, baskets, 
sandals, and other perishable items, are often 
preserved within habitation sites. 

Large numbers of rockshelters and caves have been 
recorded in the Muddy Mountains and the Arrow 
Canyon Range. Shelters that were extensively used 
often contain layers of organic deposition, called 
midden, within the floor and surrounding the 
entrance. This midden usually shows blackened soil 
and is filled with artifacts; a midden that has not 
been disturbed has excellent potential for yielding 
significant information on the prehistory of the 
region. 

A campsite is an area that possesses quantities of 
lithic material such as stone flakes or formed tools, 
ceramics, animal bone or plant materials, milling 
equipment, and often the remains of a cooking fire 
within a hearth. These are generally reflective of 
temporary locations, on a path from spring to spring 
or resource to resource. Campsites are found in all 
areas, but are most prevalent on terraces 
overlooking major drainages and surrounding 
springs. 

Other types of prehistoric archeological sites include 
stone features such as rock rings and rock art 
locales. Rock art is defined as the modification of a 
rock face by pecking (petroglyphs) or painting 
(pictographs) figures or designs. Rock art panels 
are common in certain areas, generally near water 
sources, along game trails, or near resource 
procurement locations. Sandstone with a stained or 
patinated surface is perhaps the best medium for 
illustrating this kind of aboriginal visual creativity, 
but limestone, basalt, and other volcanic materials 
were also commonly used. Although rock art 
designs have been attributed to all prehistoric 
groups, there is presently no positive method for 
dating these kinds of sites. Keyhole Canyon is one 
site complex within the Las Vegas BLM District 
that was fenced for protection and signed for 
interpretation. 

This portion of southern Nevada was utilized by 
three later distinctive groups (Lower Colorado or 
Yuman, Virgin Anasazi, and Southern Paiute 
peoples). Lower Colorado tribes such as the Mojave 
conducted floodwater farming along the Colorado 
River south of Las Vegas Valley. They also 
exploited resources in the surrounding ranges and 



5 

■ id 



i 

I 



3-50 



.■■■;■ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-23. Distribution of the numbers of presently identified archaeological sites in LVD considered 
eligible. 



RP 



Mountains 



he Types 



9 

C\ : ■ ' -'!>■■ 



u 
Q 



1: 




■ ; :2::: 

:§;■ 



Pahrtrr 
Roach) 



>: IVdi-IlUy W V-VtiTvlCI 



2 :■■'■■ 





iiiiiti 


:: .,:■! 


2- 





lllllll 


..vi 


i: 





lllill 


1 


1 


iilii 


$; :"! : 






:8-- :: :;:::45^ 



Key: 




RP 


Roa 


: RS 


: ■■■■ :ROC 


RA* 


Roc 


. . _ 





at Rock&h 



41 



14 



:54 :: 



'#&. 



Prehistoric structural remains 
Historic remains 

Rock ri ng/feaiure : ^^MM:i-: 
40% of acreage: sold in 1995 salt 



valleys, including the Piute, Eldorado and Las 
Vegas valleys. The Lower Colorado peoples lived 
in open camps and rancherias, which is why their 
sites appear in the archeological record much like 
those of the earlier Archaic hunter/gatherers. The 
Lower Colorado people made pottery. 

The Virgin Anasazi were concentrated along the 
Muddy and Virgin Rivers to the north of Las Vegas. 
Their population increased after A.D. 500, which 
coincides with the beginning of farming and the 
introduction of the bow and arrow in this region. 
The Virgin Anasazi lived in isolated hamlets or 
small villages, with semi-permanent sedentary 
pithouses or pueblo structures constructed of rock 
rubble and adobe. Although they supplemented 
their diet with hunted animals and gathered wild 



seeds from the region, much of their staple food 
came from corn, beans, and squash grown in the 
floodplains of the rivers. This cultural group 
abandoned the region around A.D. 1150. Although 
the reasons for this abandonment are not conclusive, 
archaeologists hypothesize that a number of factors 
(including an increased population size, a heavy 
dependence on farming, and a long drought) may 
have forced the Virgin Anasazi from the area. 

The contemporary southern Paiute are considered 
the descendants of the Archaic hunter-gatherers in 
southern Nevada. When the first Anglo-European 
explorers reached this area in the late 18th-early 
19th century, they observed small groups of 



3-51 



. . -.^, t ^ WBOTTO . Mll . ul , ll ionium miiiiimbiiiiiimm^ih 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-24. Estimated numbers of identified and unidentified archaeological sites in LVD. 



Muddy Mountains 


17:: 


217 












: mm 


Las ; Vegas; Valley** - m 


■ 
















Arrow Canyon Range . 


: : 13 ■: 


125 


V 13 : ::■■ 


:: : "■ U '-'■''■ 


" : :x5- ",::.: 





I I\D'* 




Virgin Mountains: mW 


60 


120 


20 


40 


20 


iiii 


80 




Indian Springs Valley 





100 




:: 


: 200: : 


100 


900:: 


100 


Muddy River 




100 




50 


100 


■200:: 


150 


50 


Meadow. Valley Mtns 










f^7 


o 





: 


Virgin River 












450 




1:15.0 


Meadow Vallev Wash 




14 : 

200: 


U ■ .■-■ 

liill 


■■ -AT: 










14 


Newberry Mtns 






'. {\. ... 


100 










iMeCiillough; Mtns:;; ; ; ; 






\) '-■ '.■"■ 


;; :.0:y: 










Mormon: Mesa** 









0" 




o 

. . : q 


100 


100 

33 


Roach/Jean Lakes . 








.:;: : y : : 










Eldorado Valley® 




■ ,:,.-.. JV 





50 










Piute. Valley 




SO::;: 




■\ n 










Rainbow Gardens 




50" 




i;-:-,!: .0': ; . y 











RoastingPit 






Rockshelter ■ 


:'!': : : : :RR : ..: 




Rock Art component at Rockshelter: 


; .; ■*;*;: 


Estimati 


Gamp::Site: : :: 




zone ca 


Prehistoric structural remains 




AQ<Z- ftf 



eligible sit 



i 



Southern Paiutes living in temporary brash 

structures and foraging among the diverse 
environmental zones of the region. Mesquite 
flowers, agave "hearts", small grass seeds such as 
Indian rice grass, berries, roots, and pinyon nuts 
formed the staples of their diet. Animal protein 
came from small game, especially rabbits, desert 
tortoise, rodents, and lizards. Bighorn sheep, deer, 
and pronghorn were hunted by individuals and as 
group activities. The artifacts associated with 
Paiute sites are reminiscent of Archaic campsites, 
consisting of milling stones, stone tools, and 
projectile points. Basketry and fiber cordage, 
rabbitskin robes, snares, and sandals have also been 
observed in dry shelters where preservation of these 



organic materials was possible. Brownware pottery 

was manufactured by the Southern Paiute; sherds of 
this type are used to identify archeological sites 
associated with this cultural group. The Southern 
Paiute were observed to practice limited horticulture 
around spring sources and along river bottoms such 
as the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. They grew a 
variety of crops, including corn, beans, squash, 
sunflowers, and amaranths, often constructing small 
dams and channels to divert water to their garden 
plots. 

Historic use of southern Nevada began with the 
exploration of routes such as the Old Spanish 
Trail/Mormon Road (1844 to the early 1900s). 



3-52 



■■B^ 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEiS - May 1998 

Potosi Mine, the first mine in the region, dates back 
to 1861. Ranching was well underway by the late 
1800s; completion of railroad construction in 1905 
established Las Vegas as a vital Nevada community. 

Historic foundations from mining sites, ranches, and 
quarries are found within the planning area. These 
site types are often difficult to identify and interpret; 
a trash heap and fragments of tent platforms are the 
only remnants of the mining tent town at Gold 
Butte. What appears as an old dirt road crossing 
the southern Nevada desert is the rutted path of the 
Old Spanish Trail/Mormon Road. These historic 
resources have the potential to document adaptations 
and technological changes not often recorded in the 
archival record of this region. 

A Class I Cultural Resource Inventory was 
conducted in 1990. The research resulted in the 
orderly listing of identified archaeological sites in 
the Las Vegas BLM District. The inventory 
included Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 
Area, a zone in the planning area in 1 990. The data 
for Red Rock is not reflected in the following 
discussion, but is considered in the Red Rock 
General Management Plan. Because the 1990 data 
reflected a minimal amount of surveyed acreage, as 
well as recorded sites, for the Eldorado Valley zone, 
the 1995 sale of the Eldorado Valley Sale lands also 
had minimal adjustments on results in the zone and 
planning area. Consequently, the Eldorado Valley 
zone data was not recalculated. 

Two of the 18 geographic zones described in the 
inventory document, with Red Rock Canyon zone 
removed, had sufficient inventory to make the 
determination that most eligible sites have already 
been recorded. These zones are Mormon Mesa (61 
percent surveyed) and Las Vegas Valley (18 percent 
surveyed). The data on percentage of acreage 
inventoried and the results of the reviews in the 
inventory report discussed above are used as a basis 
to argue that most eligible sites have already been 
identified in these two zones. A proposal (Myhrer 
1 99 1 ) to limit survey in all but two subzones in Las 
Vegas Valley was reviewed and accepted by State 
Historic Preservation Office in 1991. With the 
exception of Mormon Mesa and Las Vegas Valley 
zones, the percentage of acreage surveyed and the 
number of recorded properties was used to estimate 
the number of eligible sites, known and unknown, 
in the Las Vegas BLM District. For example, a 
total of 10 eligible rockshelter sites have been 
recorded from survey of 8 percent of acreage in the 
Arrow Canyon Range zone. To determine the 



estimated number of undiscovered eligible 
rockshelter sites in that zone, a calculation using 
percentages was used (10/X = 8/100 or 1000 = 8X 
or X = 1,000 divided by 8 = 125). The number of 
presently identified eligible sites in the Mormon 
Mesa and Las Vegas Valley zones are considered to 
represent 90 percent of the total potential. Table 3- 
23 lists the number of known eligible sites in the 
Las Vegas BLM District, and Table 3-24 lists the 
number of known and projected eligible sites in the 
Las Vegas BLM District. 

Of the 855 archaeological sites recorded on BLM- 
managed land in the Las Vegas District, 193 are 
considered to be eligible for nomination to the 
National Register of Historic Places or are at 
present listed on the Register. Based on the 
calculations using the percentage of surveyed 
acreage times the number of known sites considered 
to be eligible in each zone, an estimated total of 
7,767 eligible sites are present within the Las Vegas 
BLM District. 

At present, 31,000 acres have been determined as 
potential Traditional Lifeway Areas and it is 
expected that within the life of the Resource 
Management Plan, an additional 150,000 acres will 
be identified. Portions of these areas would be 
subject to treatment as Traditional Cultural 
Properties and eligible for nomination to the 
National Register of Historic Places. 

A Traditional Cultural Property refers to a more 
specific location, in contrast to the general nature of 
a Traditional Lifeway Area where a community has 
traditionally conducted exclusive or special 
activities, or has a unique value in its spiritual or 
religious world. A Traditional Cultural Property 
may be encompassed by a Traditional Lifeway 
Area. The Traditional Cultural Property concept 
was developed by the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation, an agency created by the National 
Historic Preservation Act, as a method to evaluate 
intangible cultural properties such as ceremonial 
areas. Native Americans are historically recognized 
as the original traditional users of the public lands. 

Paleontological Resources 

Paleontological resources (fossils) are remains or 
traces of plants and animals that existed during the 
600 million year geological history of southern 
Nevada. Fossils are unique, non-renewable 
resources that provide clues to the history of life on 
earth and, as such, have scientific value. A minimal 



3-53 



jHBBmm- - ' ' ■■■-"TfflBMir""~''™ M, ™™™™ H ™™"""' 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



amount of Paleontological research has been 
conducted in this region. In the 1930s, the 
Southwest Museum conducted an excavation of 
Gypsum Cave, located northeast of Las Vegas, 
recovering the skeletal remains of an extinct ground 
sloth and horse (Harrington 1933). The early 1960s 
scientific explorations at the Tule Springs locality 
(northwest of Las Vegas) yielded data on 
archeology, the Quaternary geology of the area, and 
specimens of extinct Pleistocene vertebrates 
(Wormington and Ellis 1967). These specimens 
comprised the fossilized bones of camel, horse, 
mammoth, and bison. Since all of the recovered 
species would have utilized abundant grasses and 
brush in open country, this information provided 
important clues about past environmental conditions 
in the Las Vegas Valley. 

A recent Paleontological survey on the Eglington 
Escarpment (in the north Las Vegas Valley, about 
five miles east of the Tule Springs investigations) 
discovered one significant Paleontological site. This 
site contained numerous specimens, including a 
camel jaw. In 1991, construction activities along 
the Kern River pipeline uncovered a mammoth tusk 
and tooth in this escarpment. Other potential areas 
for paleontological finds are the dry lake beds and 
shorelines of Pleistocene age Ivanpah and Roach 
Lakes, located southwest of Las Vegas. 

Trace fossilized imprints in limestone sediment at 
the north end of the Arrow Canyon Range are 
considered evidence of 20 million year old large 
birds (pers. comm., Don Higgens 1990). There are 
also unconfirmed reports of fossilized mammoths in 
this area. The complete skeleton of a 20,000-year- 
old Shasta ground sloth was discovered in May 
1991 near the California-Nevada border. A scientific 
data and specimen recovery was conducted by 
Robert Reynolds of the San Bernardino County 
Museum. A cast of the skeletal materials is on 
display at the Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas. 

Invertebrate fossils occur in several limestone 
formations, including the Spring, Dry Lake, Arrow 
Canyon, Las Vegas, Mormon and Virgin Mountain 
ranges. Fossilized trees in the form of petrified 
wood are found at the base of the Aztec Sandstone 
in the Chinle Formation outcrops; the east base of 
the Red Rock Escarpment and in the Muddy 
Mountains adjacent to Valley of Fire State Park. 



Lands Management 

Land Status 

The planning area for the Las Vegas BLM District 
Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement comprises approximately 3.3 million 
acres of public lands managed by BLM in southern 
Nevada. Of that total, approximately 2.6 million 
acres are in Clark County and 700,000 acres in 
southern Nye County (see Map 1-2). 

Clark County contains 5,173,760 acres and is the 
sixth largest county in Nevada. It is the state's 
most populated county, with two-thirds of Nevada's 
population living within its boundaries (USDI, BLM 
1990a). Las Vegas Valley is the site of explosive 
development, with approximately 4,900 people 
moving into the urban area monthly. The cities of 
Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and the 
unincorporated areas surrounding these 
municipalities comprise one of the fastest growing 
metropolitan areas in the United States. The 
remainder of Clark County continues to be 
predominantly rural, typified by a number of small 
communities. Several outlying "boom towns," such 
as Laughlin and Mesquite, are now experiencing 
dynamic population growth. The problems with 
rapid urbanization, formerly applicable only to the 
Las Vegas Valley, are now affecting these new 
cities. Sixty-seven percent of Clark County is 
public land administered by the BLM. 

Nye County consists of 11,560,960 acres and is 
Nevada's largest county. Although BLM manages a 
total of 6,697,321 acres of public land in Nye 
County, only 696,421 acres, outside of Nellis and 
the Nevada Test Site, located in the southern portion 
of the county, are administered by the Las Vegas 
BLM Field Office. 

Most public lands in southern Nye County occur in 
large blocks; private holdings are relatively small. 
The population of the county is concentrated at four 
locations: Pahrump, Amargosa, Ash Meadows, and 
Lathrop Wells. The two largest communities are 
Pahrump, population approximately 17,500 with a 
15% annual growth rate (Pahrump Valley Chamber 
of Commerce, 1994), and Amargosa with 
approximately 1,800 inhabitants. Historically, the 
lands have been used for grazing, mining, and 
agricultural purposes; modern use is generally 
restricted to agriculture and private residences 



3-54 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

(USDI BLM 1984), although some mining still 
occurs. Other Federally-administered lands situated 
either within or contiguous to the Las Vegas District 
include those in Nellis Air Force Base, Nellis Air 
Force Range, Nevada Test Site, Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area, lands managed by the 
Bureau of Reclamation, Death Valley National Park, 
Toiyabe National Forest, Moapa Indian Reservation, 
Desert National Wildlife Refuge, and Ash Meadows 
National Wildlife Refuge. 

Public Land Disposal 

Land Available for Recreation and Other Public 
Purposes 

Since passage of the Recreation and Public 
Purposes Act in 1926, local governments and non- 
profit organizations may acquire Federal land at 
minimal cost for various purposes. Within the Las 
Vegas BLM District, common Recreation and 
Public Purpose uses are parks, community centers, 
schools, libraries, fire stations, public golf courses, 
law enforcement facilities, correctional institutions, 
and water and sewage treatment facilities. 

Land Exchanges 

Section 206 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act provides for the exchange of 
public lands administered by BLM and may involve 
private landowners, non-Federal entities, and 
Federal departments or agencies. In recent years, 
eight private exchanges occurred within the 
planning area. There were 21 exchanges proposed 
to the BLM as of March 26, 1996. Selected lands 
are limited to existing disposal areas. 

Public lands were acquired by the U.S. Forest 
Service for the Tahoe National Forest in the Lake 
Tahoe area. The Howard Hughes Properties 
Exchange added lands to the BLM-administered 
Red Rock (now Red Rock Canyon National 
Conservation Area) in exchange for adjacent public 
lands more appropriate for development. The 
American Land Conservancy exchanges acquired 
lands for the U.S. Forest Service in the Pyramid 
Lake and Galena Creek areas in Carson City. The 
Olympic Management and Mary's River exchanges 
added to BLM-administered riparian areas along the 
Virgin River, and lands within the Red Rock 
Canyon National Conservation Area. Lands in 
Tonopah were acquired by BLM for a resource area 
office through the Gilbert Exchange, and the Rhodes 
Exchange added lands to BLM-administered Calico 



Basin within the Red Rock Canyon National 
Conservation Area. 

Other exchanges in the Las Vegas BLM District 
were processed through legislative action. The 
Aerojet Exchange involved exchange of public lands 
within Las Vegas Valley for riparian lands in 
Florida that are administered by the U.S. FISH and 
Wildlife Service. There are exchange proposals 
pending evaluation that would add public lands to 
the U.S. Forest Service-administered lands, Ruby 
Lake Wildlife Refuge, Red Rock Canyon National 
Conservation Area, or to other BLM districts. 

The Las Vegas BLM District has exchanged 
approximately 31,400 acres over the past 24 years. 

Land Sales 

The sale of public lands can occur by two methods: 
through legislative action or as a result of land use 
planning. Legislative actions to sell public lands 
are usually in response to special circumstances and 
are site-specific with strictly identified goals, 
procedures, and duration. Public land sales that 
result from land use planning must meet specific 
criteria identified in Section 203 of the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act and the tracts of 
public lands must be specifically identified by legal 
description or on a map. 

Public land sales were conducted under the 
authority of the Small Tract Act of 1938 during the 
1950s and 1960s; BLM disposed of several 
thousand acres of public land throughout Las Vegas 
Valley. All the 1.25, 2.5, and 5 acre tracts were not 
sold, resulting in a severely fragmented ownership 
pattern that precludes efficient and effective public 
land management. This situation has affected the 
orderly growth of the metropolitan area. This land 
ownership problem in Las Vegas Valley, in concert 
with the rapid growth of the area, are the major 
influences on the public land disposal program in 
the Las Vegas BLM District. 

On December 23, 1980, Congress enacted Public 
Law (PL) 96-586, commonly known as the Santini- 
Burton Act, which provides for the disposal of 
certain public lands in Clark County (Las Vegas 
Valley), thereby generating revenues, 85 per cent of 
which are deposited in the General Fund. Congress 
has discretionary power to appropriate these funds 
and to reimburse the Soil and Water Conservation 
Fund for the acquisition of environmentally 
sensitive lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Other 



3-55 



VMSSSSBHS 



mamammmma 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



distribution of the funds would include 10 percent 
to the county or city in whose jurisdiction the lands 
are located and 5 per cent to the state. The Act 
requires that both BLM and the local governmental 
entity having jurisdiction on the land agree on those 
lands to be offered for sale; without agreement, the 
land cannot be offered. The Act also required that 
the first sale offering occur within one year of 
enactment of the law. 

The BLM and local governmental entities affected 
by Santini-Burton (Clark County, City of Las 
Vegas, City of North Las Vegas) adopted the 
regulations promulgated for Section 203 of the 
Federal Land Policy and Management Act to 
implement the provisions of PL 96-586. At the 
time of enactment, there was in excess of 9,300 
acres of public land identified for disposal. 

The Clark County Management Framework Plan 
provides for disposal of approximately 108,107 
acres of public land within the Las Vegas Valley, 
with priority to the Santini-Burton Act area. It 
provides for disposal of all public parcels of land 
(totaling 3,494 acres) within the settled limits of the 
communities of Indian Springs, Goodsprings, 
Searchlight, Nelson, and Laughlin. All isolated 
parcels of public land of 640 or less coterminous 
acres (totaling 11,851 acres) in the general 
settlement areas of Eastern Pahrump Valley, 
Mountain Springs Community, Sandy (Mesquite 
Valley) Community, Jean, Sloan, Blue Diamond, 
Moapa Valley Area, Virgin Valley Area, and Kyle 
Canyon Road Small Tract Area were also 
designated for disposal. 

Under the Management Framework Plan, 1,754 
acres of public land in Las Vegas Valley were sold 
through Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
sale and 3,597 acres through Recreation and Public 
Purpose sale. Since the enactment of the Santini- 
Burton Act, 2,700 acres of public land were sold 
through Santini-Burton sale. The majority of the 
1,280 acres of public land identified for sale in 
Laughlin (1,210 acres) is under Recreation and 
Public Purpose lease or right-of-way to different 
Clark County entities. The uses are varied and 
include sewage treatment facilities, a fire station, 
school site and a public golf course. 

The Nevada Land Transfer and Authorization Act of 
1989 (PL 101-67-Apex Project) provides for the 
sale of certain public lands in Clark County to meet 
national defense and heavy-use industrial purposes. 



There were 21,000 acres of public land originally 
withdrawn for the sale. Kerr-McGee Chemical 
Corporation purchased approximately 3,351 acres of 
these lands for an ammonium perchlorate production 
facility, and Silver State Disposal purchased 2,185 
acres for a sanitary landfill. Clark County zoned 
the area as a heavy-use industrial zone. 

On November 27, 1990, BLM approved the 
conceptual Master Plan for the Apex Heavy 
Industrial Park, fulfilling the requirement of the 
Apex legislation. The Secretary of the Interior is in 
the process of establishing a sales agreement, not to 
exceed 10 years, for disposal of the remaining 
lands. 

Public Law 85-339 (dated March 6, 1958) provided 
for and directed the sale of certain public lands 
within Eldorado Valley to the Colorado River 
Commission, acting for the State of Nevada. On 
July 9, 1995, the Colorado River Commission 
received patent to 107,412 acres, and simultaneously 
transferred title to the lands to the City of Boulder 
City. Exhibit C in the patent and subsequent title 
reserved to the United States certain right-of-way 
corridors for transportation and public utilities. 

Public Law 99-548 (October 27, 1986) withdrew for 
a period of ten years, all public lands within the city 
limits of Mesquite from all forms of entry and 
appropriation under the public land laws, including 
the mining laws, and from operation under the 
mineral leasing and geothermal leasing laws. The 
act provided a six-year exclusive right to the City of 
Mesquite to identify which lands it wished to 
purchase. Prior to expiration of the exclusive right 
to purchase, the City of Mesquite received patent to 
approximately 2,750 acres. 

The Record of Decision for the Esmeralda-Southern 
Nye Resource Management Plan-Planning Area B 
(October 9, 1986) identifies a pool of 47,200 acres 
of public land for disposal during the life of the 
plan. This land is to meet urban-suburban 
expansion or agricultural development needs for the 
communities within the Resource Management Plan 
area. The 47,200 acres identified for disposal 
includes 26,880 acres in Amargosa, 5,240 acres in 
Lathrop Wells, and 15,080 acres in Pahrump. 

Leases/Permits 

Private and commercial use of public lands 
administered by BLM are provided for under 



3-56 



—-—■——■——■——— — — TM 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act. This section addresses leases for 
long-term use of public lands, including 
development and amortization of capital investment; 
permits for short-term use and little or no 
development of lands; and easements to assure that 
uses of public lands are compatible with non-federal 
lands. Land uses authorized within the Las Vegas 
District included a motor-cross site in Eldorado 
Valley, an apiary site in Searchlight, and 
geotechnical and groundwater study sites in the 
Moapa, Dry Lake Valley, Blue Diamond, and 
Goodsprings areas. 

Land use authorizations are processed on a case-by- 
case basis as proposals are received. The 
authorization process involves analysis of potential 
impacts to the environment that could result from 
the proposed action. An Environmental Assessment 
or an Environmental Impact Statement, if 
appropriate, is prepared and resource protection 
stipulations are developed prior to the approval of 
such uses. 

Airports 

Several airports and numerous airstrips within the 
planning area are located on public lands under 
lease agreements authorized pursuant to the Airport 
Act of 1928. The Las Vegas area is serviced by 
three private airports (McCarran, North Las Vegas, 
and Sky Harbor). 

Landing strips or smaller airports with limited 
facilities, authorized under the Airport Act of 1928, 
are found on public lands within the planning area 
in both Clark and Nye counties. Public airport 
facilities are located in Searchlight, Mesquite, Sandy 
Valley, Ash Meadows, and Lathrop Wells. Within 
Clark County, airport lease applications are pending 
for use of public lands to expand the Sky Harbor 
airport and the existing airport at Jean, to modify 
the existing airport in Searchlight to exclude the 
private lands within the runway area and for airport 
facilities in North Las Vegas and Cal-Nev-Ari. Nye 
County has expressed a need for additional airport 
facilities and has filed an application to expand an 
existing facility in Pahrump. 

Lands Cases Pending and Authorized 

The Las Vegas BLM District currently has 855 
pending case actions and 2,258 authorized case 
actions. These actions include applications for 
rights-of-way, Recreation and Public Purpose 



leases/sales, airport leases, color-of-title, desert land 
entries, Indian allotments and Section 302 permits, 
as well as trespass actions, exchange and sale 
proposals, and amendments and modifications to 
existing grants and permits. 

Classifications. Withdrawals, and Segregations 

Classifications, withdrawals, and segregations place 
restrictions on the use of the public lands. Appendix 
D contains the legal description of the existing 
Public Land classifications, withdrawals, and 
segregations in effect as of May 31, 1990. 



Rghts-of-Way Management 

Right-of-Way Development 

The BLM authorizes rights-of-Way on public lands 
for a variety of uses including roads, electrical 
transmission lines, telephone lines, sewer lines, 
culinary water lines, natural gas pipelines, 
communication sites, electrical power plants and 
substations, and related power distribution lines. 
Material site rights-of-way are authorized to the 
Nevada Department of Transportation, providing 
sand and gravel for road maintenance and 
construction. Right-of-way authorizations are 
processed on a case-by-case basis as proposals for 
use are received. 

The authorization process involves analysis of 
potential impacts to the environment as a result of 
the proposed action and preparation of an 
Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact 
Statement if appropriate; resource protection 
stipulations are developed prior to approval. 

Right-of-Way Corridors 

The only BLM-designated corridors within the 
planning area are in Nye County (see Map 2-4). 
The ROD for the Esmemlda-Southern Nye Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, 
Planning Area B, approved in 1986, designated 61 
miles of utility corridors on public land, including 
existing facilities and/or rights-of-way. The 
designations consist of a corridor running north- 
south, which encompasses a right-of-way held by 
Western Area Power Administration for a 750-kV 
direct current line and corridors running north-south 
along U.S. 95, containing existing facilities not 
included in the Western Area Power Administration 
right-of-way corridor. 



3-57 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



m 

Hi 

H 



In Clark County, the only corridors reserved for the 
U.S. Government are the result of special legislation 
(see Map 2-4). Public Law 101-67, the Apex 
legislation, reserved numerous corridors within the 
sale area, including existing powerline rights-of- 
way, ranging from 300 to 1,800 feet in width, for a 
total length of approximately 32 miles. The Aerojet 
legislation established a corridor in Coyote Springs 
Valley, with a total length of 4 miles. 

This plan proposes modification to the Esmeralda- 
Southern Nye Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Planning 
Area B corridors and designates a network of 
additional corridors throughout the planning area. 
The corridors follow the routes of numerous large 
(345-kV to 500-kV) electric transmission lines, 
which began to traverse the region as early as the 
1940s following completion of Hoover Dam and the 
rapid population growth in California. The Mead 
substation, which was established for Hoover Dam, 
was subsequently followed by the McCullough and 
Eldorado substations in Eldorado Valley. 

In recent years, the difficulty of locating sites for 
new power plants in California, coupled with the 
cost efficiency of locating power plants closer to 
western coal sources in Utah, has spawned 
numerous power projects and a proliferation of large 
transmission lines in southern Nevada. There are 
nine major utility projects (including the multiple 
345-kV lines constructed by the Bureau of 
Reclamation) in the Las Vegas BLM District, 
which were either constructed or authorized for 
construction. In addition, there are four major 
power projects pending either completion of the 
environmental analysis process or the approval and 
issuance of a right-of-way. 

Cogeneration power plants were completed at Apex 
and Pabco; other proposals are being considered for 
pumped storage and gas-fired plants within the city 
of Las Vegas. These facilities would require new 
lines ranging from 69 kV to 230 kV, or access to 
existing systems. Where feasible, such smaller 
utilities would be encouraged to use designated 
corridors. Other regional utilities are preparing to 
or currently constructing new 230-kV lines: Valley 
Electric will build from Pahrump to Mead 
substation; Overton Power from Overton to 
Mesquite. 

Nevada Power Company, in cooperation with Los 
Angeles Department of Water and Power, 



completed an initial analysis of the Marketplace- 
Allen 500-kV transmission project. This project 
would consist of two 500-kV transmission circuits 
from the Harry Allen substation near Dry Lake to a 
new substation called Marketplace, near the 
Eldorado/McCullough substation in Eldorado 
Valley. The Marketplace substation would be 
interconnected to the proposed Mead-Phoenix and 
Mead-Adelanto 500-kV projects and to the existing 
McCullough substation. The Harry Allen 500-kV 
substation would be interconnected with the 
proposed Southwest Intertie Project and 
Utah/Nevada 500-kV (second IPP line). The White 
Pine Power Project (two 500-kV lines) could also 
participate in the project, as well as other interested 
companies. This interconnection would replace 
lines through the area, with two larger (3,500 
megawatt each) transmission lines. 



Natural Areas Management 

The areas described below are shown on Map 2-6 
as Instant Study Areas, which were designated as 
"Natural Areas" in 1970. Each contains special 
values in wildlife, recreation, and other resources. 
Section 603 (a) of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act mandated areas designated as 
natural or primitive prior to November 1, 1975, be 
studied for wilderness values. 

Virgin Mountains Natural Area 

This area encompasses 6,560 acres at the upper 
elevations of the Virgin Mountains, south and east 
of Mesquite, Nevada. The Virgin Mountains are of 
particular scientific interest since their features are 
representative of three major North American desert 
life zones. The southern Great Basin, eastern 
Mojave, and northern Sonoran deserts merge within 
the boundaries of the Natural Area. Several 
vegetation communities combine in this range and 
plant species considered to be at the outer edges of 
their ranges are found in this natural interface zone. 

Sunrise Mountain Natural Area 

The Sunrise Mountain Natural Area is comprised of 
10,240 acres, located 8 miles east of Las Vegas. 
The area was designated for its unique geologic 
values. Frenchman Mountain, a widely recognized 
landmark on the eastern Las Vegas horizon, forms a 



3-58 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

dominant feature of this Natural Area. Lyndon 
Limestone and Pioche Shale deposits are exposed 
along me slopes of Sunrise and Frenchman 
Mountains. The olive green, brown, and reddish 
purple beds of Pioche Shale contain fossil trilobites 
of the Lower Cambrian genus Olenellus. Two 
candidate plants, the bear paw poppy (Arctomecon 
californica) and Utah agave (Agave utahensis var. 
eborispina) are present in me area. 



Recreation Management 

Public lands within the planning area contain 
ecologically diverse landscapes that include 
mountains, dry lake playas, joshua tree forests, sand 
dunes, sandstone bluffs, and riparian areas. This 
diversity offers outstanding opportunities for casual 
and organized recreational activities. Demand for 
such opportunities is increasing due to the 
expansion of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. 

Casual or dispersed recreation, the principal 
opportunities available to visitors within the 
planning area, require a variety of sites yet need no 
special facilities. These opportunities include 
caving, photography, automobile touring, 
backpacking, birdwatching, hunting, primitive 
camping, hiking, rock climbing, and competitive 
and non -competitive off-road vehicle events. Water- 
based recreation is limited to a few desert streams 
and springs. Table 3-25 provides the best available 
estimates for these activities in the planning area, 
and Table 3-26 lists the number and types of 
Special Recreation Permits issued each year. 

Organized competitive events include model 
airplane fly-ins, model rocketry launches, dog field 
trials, horse endurance rides, and all-terrain bicycle 
events. Off-road vehicle use accounts for the 
greatest single recreational use of the public lands. 
Competitive off-road vehicle events are the largest 
organized recreational activity managed in the 
planning area. 

Areas of Recreational and Scenic Importance 

The areas described below are recognized for their 
recreational values. 

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 

Red Rock Canyon, formerly Red Rock Canyon 
Recreation Lands, was designated in 1990 as a 



Table 3-25. Estimated visitor use in LVD (1994). 



Activity 


Visits 


Visitor Hours ' 


ORV Travel 

Other Motorized 
: Non-Motorized 
Camping 
Hunting 
Site Based 


: 73,300: 

665.000 

260,000 

13,300 

32,800 

106.400 


4,088,000 
2.450,000 
2.080,000 
478,800 
393,600 
1.276.800 


Totals 




;_■;■ -ill) /fl'/yftUWv- ':>:," 


(Source: BLM, Las Vegas District files, 1994.) 



Natural Conservation Area. It is located on the 
eastern slope of the Spring Mountains 
approximately 15 miles west of Las Vegas (see Map 
1-2). The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 
Area General Management Plan, which is in 
preparation, will identify management goals and 
objectives within me National Conservation Area. 



Virgin River Recreation Lands 

In 1970, the 4,930-acre Virgin River Recreation 
Lands were designated for their open-space, 
wildlife, and river access values. The area contains 
scenic sandstone bluffs, flowing water, riparian 
vegetation, and important waterfowl and fish 
habitats. Recreational opportunities include 
camping, photography, rock climbing, nature study, 
and hiking. Several species of native fish and 
waterfowl depend on the habitat provided by the 
Virgin River, which is the focal point of the 
recreation area. These wildlife resources are 
managed under a Habitat Management Plan that 
limits off-highway vehicle use to existing roads, 
trails, and washes and restricts competitive events to 
non-speed events throughout the area. ( Note : This 
area is being included in the larger Virgin River 
Area of Critical Environmental Concern.) 

Las Vegas Dunes Recreation Lands 

Las Vegas Dunes Recreation Lands, also known as 
Nellis Dunes, encompasses approximately 10,000 
acres formally designated as an Off-Road Vehicle 
play area (see Map 2-5). This area, located 15 
miles northeast of Las Vegas, is easily accessible 
from that metropolitan area. 



3-59 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



i 



The topography of the Las Vegas Dunes Recreation 
Lands is comprised of rolling sand dunes, small 
limestone bluffs, and numerous washes. The area is 
extensively used for recreational off-road vehicle 
riding, 4x4 touring, and competitive events. 
Approximately four all-terrain vehicle events, two 
motorcycle events and two buggy events use all or 
portions of the off-road vehicle area yearly. 

Back Country Byways 

Two nationally designated back country byways 
have been designated in the planning area. Back 
Country Byways are a component of the National 

Scenic Byway system and are located along back 
country roads that offer scenic and recreational 
opportunities. The range of road types may vary 
from a single track bike trail to a narrow, low 
speed, paved road that traverses back country areas 
of high scenic and public interest value. The two 
byways have entrance, interpretive, and directional 
signs and are regularly patrolled. 

The Gold Butte Back Country Byway contains 
approximately 60 miles of paved, graded dirt, and 
jeep trail roads within an area of highly scenic 
desert landscapes. Recreational opportunities 
include pleasure driving, hiking, rock climbing, 
camping, photography, and nature study. 

The Bitter Spring Back Country Byway includes 28 
miles of high clearance/four-wheel drive road 
located in highly scenic geologic formations, and 
abandoned historic mining sites. Recreational 
opportunities include exploring, hiking, camping, 
hunting, nature study, and pleasure driving. 

Caves 

The resource area has approximately 12 caves of 
regional or national importance. The most 
significant is Gypsum Cave, which is eligible for 
nomination to the National Register of Historic 
Places based on the important information on 
prehistory of the region previously obtained. An 
archaeological excavation of the cave was 
conducted by Southwest Museum in the 1930s. The 
research yielded information concerning continuous 
aboriginal hunter-gatherer uses for about 3,000 
years. The scientific data that the cave yielded 
continues to be important in reconstructing the 
prehistory of the region. 



Table 3-26. Special Recreation Permits (1994). 



Activity 



Visits 



Visitor 



Motorcycle Races 
ATV Races 






Truck & Buggy Races 
.Dual S port Touring 
Motorcycle. Rally 
Gyrocopter Rides : 
Black Powder Shoots. . 


: : : 8 .: ■ : :: : 
2 . 


.16 
04 


Guides & Outfitters 






Horse Endurance Rides 


: : j$if:5# 


05 
.04 


Dog Field Trials 






Ultralight Flying -... 
Commercial Photography 


1 

f: mm 


01 
04 


Jfeep Tours 
Model Rocketry 


■'■ 2: mm 





Totals 



Devil's Throat is an unusual geologic formation, 
located near Gold Butte (see Map 2-7). Devil's 
Throat is regarded as a collapsed sink, a type of 
sinkhole. The sink is approximately 120 feet wide 
and 130 feet deep. 

Recreation Management Areas 

The planning area has two previously designated 
Special Recreation Management Areas and one 
Extensive Recreation Management Area. These 
Recreation Management Areas are described below. 

Clark County Special Recreation Management Area : 
This area encompasses 1,326,864 acres in southern 
Nevada south of Las Vegas, between the California 
border and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. 
Its primary purpose for being designated was to 
provide for off-road vehicle recreation opportunities 
with the following management objectives: 



Manage Off-Road Vehicle events in a 
manner that reduces impacts to other 
resource values such as wilderness, desert 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

tortoise and bighorn sheep habitat, and cultural 
resources. 

• Provide a wide variety of recreation 
opportunities, including Off-Road Vehicle 
freeplay and touring, hunting, camping, 
landsailing, picnicking, hiking, and 
sightseeing. 

• Monitor and mitigate the effects that Off-Road 
Vehicle activities have on other resources and 
values. 

• Educate the public with regard to the 
appropriate uses of the Public Land including 
Off-Road Vehicle etiquette. 

The primary management issues in this Special 
Recreation Management Area include resource 
protection, visitor safety, impacts to the local and 
regional economy, and area administration and use 
supervision. 

The viability of the Special Recreation Management 
Area as an area of recreation program emphasis has 
been seriously eroded over the last few years due to 
use limits and restrictions imposed as part of the 
desert tortoise management and protection program. 
Large areas are now virtually off limits to Off-Road 
Vehicle events, and other users are restricted to 
designated roads to protect tortoise habitat. 

Due to the above management objectives and 
concerns, the proposed Resource Management Plan 
designates three smaller Special Recreation 
Management Areas. These areas are where more 
intense recreation use occurs, and the BLM is 
concentrating its manpower and funding. Long-term 
monitoring of the desert tortoise areas will be a 
function of the wildlife program in concert with 
Clark County and the U.S.Fish and Wildlife 
Service. 



Spring Mountain Special Recreation Management 
Area: This area encompasses approximately 566,701 
acres in southern Nevada, west of Las Vegas and 
southeast of the Nevada Test Site. Its primary 
purpose for designation was to provide both 
extensive and intensive recreation opportunities in 
the Desert View National Environmental Area and 
around the Spring Mountains with the following 
management objectives: 



• Provide for a wide variety of recreation 
opportunities, including off-road vehicle 
touring, hunting, camping, picnicking hiking, 
horseback riding, and sightseeing. 

• Educate the public with regard to 
appropriate uses of the public land including 
off-road vehicle etiquette and appreciation of 
desert resources. 

♦ Reduce conflicts between users seeking a 
variety of recreational opportunities. 

♦ Reduce conflicts and impacts to other 
resources caused by recreation-related 
activities. 

The primary management issues in the Spring 
Mountain Special Recreation Management Area 
include environmental education, resource 
protection, and area administration and use 
supervision. 

This area is no longer viable as a management unit. 
All of the Desert View Natural Environment Area is 
included within either the expanded Red Rock 
Canyon National Conservation Area or the Spring 
Mountain National Recreation Area (U.S. Forest 
Service). The Las Vegas Valley Special Recreation 
Management Area includes lands formerly within 
this Special Recreation Management Area. 

Stateline Extensive Recreation Management Area: 
The Extensive Recreation Management Area 
encompasses approximately 2,243,358 acres of 
public land in southern Nevada, to the east and west 
of Las Vegas. It essentially includes all lands not 
covered by Red Rock Canyon Special Recreation 
Management Area, Clark County Special Recreation 
Management Area, and Spring Mountain Special 
Recreation Management Area. The primary 
management issues in the Stateline Extensive 
Recreation Management Area include resource 
protection, visitor safety, monitoring, area 
administration and use supervision, and meeting 
recreation opportunity demands. Originally, its 
primary purpose for designation was to provide for 
suitable recreation opportunities dispersed 
throughout the planning area with the following 
objectives: 

• Manage Off-Road Vehicle events in a 
manner that reduces impacts to other 
resource values such as wilderness, desert 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



b '■ 

b 



tortoise and bighorn sheep habitat, and 
cultural resources. 

• Manage and protect cultural resources in 
Arrow Canyon through interpretation, site 
protection, and user awareness. 

• Manage the Las Vegas Dunes and Big Dune 
for Off-Road Vehicle free-play opportunities. 

• Manage the Gold Butte area, including 
Whitney Pockets and Virgin Mountain, for 
semi-primitive recreation opportunities 
including hiking, camping, vehicle touring, 
and sightseeing. 

• Manage the Muddy Mountains for primitive 
and semi-primitive recreation opportunities 
including hiking, camping, sightseeing, and 
interpretation. 

• Manage the Sunrise Mountain area for its 
natural values and to modify visitor use to 
protect natural values. 

• Provide a wide variety of dispersed recreation 
opportunities throughout the Extensive 
Recreation Management Area, including off- 
road vehicle free-play, touring, hunting, 
camping, picnicking, hiking, and sightseeing. 

• Inventory and plan for additional back 
country byways. 

The Extensive Recreation Management Area 
mapped in the proposed plan is substantially larger 
than the one currently designated. This enlargement 
is due to the addition of desert tortoise Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern and other lands 
where recreation management emphasis is being 
reduced due to restrictions on recreational activities. 

Conversely, several areas within the original 
Extensive Recreation Management Area are now 
designated as Special Recreation Management Areas 
due to shifting visitor use and program emphasis. 

Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 

All public lands in the planning area have inherent 
recreational value and offer some level of 
opportunities for recreational activity. The 
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum process identifies 
recreation opportunities on the basis of the area's 



setting and activities. Five recreation opportunities 
are available in the planning area: semi-primitive 
nonmotorized, semi-primitive motorized, roaded 
natural, rural, and modern urban. 

Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized 

Eleven areas were identified as having Semi- 
Primitive Nonmotorized recreation opportunities. 
These areas are primarily wilderness study areas 
that have retained a predominantly unmodified 
environment. The areas do not receive high visitor 
use and therefore have few managerial controls or 
restrictions. Motorized use does not occur because 
of ruggedness of terrain. Recreational activities in 
these areas include hiking, camping, climbing, 
enjoying scenery, nature study, and hunting. 

Semi-Primitive Motorized 

Semi-Primitive Motorized recreation opportunities 
have been identified in 18 areas, including some 
that are remote. These areas primarily include 
Wilderness Study Area or adjacent acreage and 
locations that have a high degree of naturalness and 
lack roads. Because these areas receive low to 
moderate visitor use, few managerial controls and 
restrictions apply. Motorized use occurs in these 
areas to a limited degree. Recreational activities 
that occur include off-road vehicle touring on 
existing roads, trails, and dry washes, hiking, 
camping, enjoying scenery, climbing, nature study, 
and hunting. 

Roaded Natural 

The majority of the planning area was identified as 
having Roaded Natural recreation opportunities. 
These areas include most of the valleys and basins 
such as the Jean and Roach Dry Lake area, 
Eldorado Valley, the northern portions and along the 
Gold Butte Road in the area south of Mesquite, 
below the sandstone escarpment along State Route 
160 in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation 
Area, and the majority of the Amargosa Valley. 
Visitor use can be moderate to high with managerial 
controls being low to high. Specific opportunities 
include picnicking, hiking, Off-Road Vehicle 
touring, free-play, and events, camping, nature 
study, enjoying scenery, and interpretive activities. 



3-62 



HSH^n^i^B^Hi^^^^BH^m^^HniHamra^^- 



BaBiiwmi im mmjiumim 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Rural 

Five areas have Rural Recreation opportunities. 
These are areas where group affiliation is prevalent, 
recreation facilities are more available, and the 
natural environment is less important. 
Characteristic of these areas are the Pahrump 
Valley, Sandy Valley, and the Sunrise 
Mountain/Rainbow Gardens/Nellis Dunes area. 
These areas are characterized by a modified 
environment where the sights and sounds of humans 
are readily available. Visitor use can be moderate 
to high. Recreational activities can include 
picnicking, hiking, off-road vehicle touring and free- 
play, target shooting, enjoying scenery, bicycling, 
spectator sports, competitive games and events, and 
interpretive activities. 

Modern Urban 

The two areas that have Modern Urban recreational 
opportunities are Las Vegas Valley and lands near 
Laughlin. These areas offer opportunities to 
experience affiliation with individuals and groups. 
To these users, experiencing the natural 
environment and using outdoor skills is not 
important. These areas have highly modified 
environments where the sights and sounds of human 
use predominate. Generally, modern facilities (such 
as those found in a county or city park) are 
provided for the convenience of large groups of 
people. 



Wild and Scenic Rivers Management 

No wild and scenic rivers are designated in the 
planning area. The Virgin River through Utah, 
Arizona and Nevada has, however, been identified 
as having outstandingly remarkable scenic, geologic, 
fisheries and wildlife values. Although the river 
was removed from the National Park Service 
National Rivers 1982 Inventory, the values for 
which it was originally included are considered in 
this eligibility and classification process. 

The Virgin River traverses three states, originating 
north and east of Zion National Park and flowing 
through southwestern Utah, the Virgin River Gorge 
in Arizona, and finally entering Lake Mead in 
Nevada. The total river segment covers 76 miles 
(from just above Hurricane, Utah to Lake Mead), 
with a 25-mile section in Nevada. Table 3-27 lists 
land tenure for the Virgin River by agency; data in 



the table were obtained from Virgin River Habitat 
Management Plan (USDI BLM 1984), Las Vegas 
BLM District. 

Study Process - The wild and scenic river study 
process consists of three steps: 

• Determine if the river segment is eligible for 
wild and scenic river designation. 

• Determine the potential classification of the 
river segment as wild, scenic, recreational, 
or any combination thereof. 

• Conduct a suitability study/legislative 
Environmental Impact Statement To 
determine if the river segment is suitable for 
designation to the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
System. 

Specific study procedures are found in BLM 
Manual 8351, in the final revised U.S. Departments 
of Agriculture and Interior Guidelines, and in 
Federal Register, Vol. 7, No. 173, September 7, 
1982. The guidance recommends that all three 
steps be completed during development of a 
Resource Management Plan. If this evaluation 
cannot be completed during the identified time 
period, the study/Environmental Impact Statement 
step may be deferred for up to five years. 
Minimum determinations in a Resource 
Management Plan involving a potential wild and 
scenic river must include decisions on eligibility and 
classification. 

Study Criteria - To be eligible for inclusion in the 
national system, a river segment must be 
free-flowing, and the river and its adjacent area 
must possess at least one outstandingly remarkable 
value. There are no specific requirements regarding 
the length or flow of an eligible river segment. 
Length and flow are sufficient if they sustain or 
complement the outstandingly remarkable values for 
which the river would be designated. The minimum 
study corridor includes the river and the adjacent 
lands to 0.25 miles from the river's edge. A wider 
corridor may be studied if inclusion could facilitate 
resource management in the river area. If a river 
segment is determined to be noneligible during the 
planning process, further study should be 
discontinued. Planning records must document the 
basis for determination of a lack of eligibility. A 
river segment's potential classification depends on 
the condition of the river and adjacent lands as they 
exist at the time of the study. 



3-63 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-27. Land status within the Virgin River habitat management area. 



, „., _,._. — 



Status ' 

^Private : : : 

: : Jfcvacia Department of Wildlife : : ; 

BLM- Virgin River Recreation Lands 

BLM-Other 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area . 

Bureauof Reclamation 

Total 

(Source: RIM, Las Vegas District: files, 1995. 



6.923 
9 '-S2H 



00 



'-.; 



The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act specifies three 
classifications for eligible rivers: wild, scenic and 
recreational. 

• To be classified wild, a river segment must 
be free of impoundments and generally 
inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds 
or shorelines essentially primitive and water 
unpolluted. 

• To be classified scenic, a river segment must 
be free of impoundments, with shorelines or 
watersheds still largely primitive and 
shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible 
in places by roads. The area must not show 
substantial evidence of human activity. 

• To be classified recreational, a river segment 
may be readily accessible by road or railroad, 
may have some development along the 
shoreline, and may have undergone some 
impoundment or diversion in the past. 

The Arizona Statewide Wild & Scenic Rivers 
Final Legislative Environmental Impact 
Statement (USDI BLM 1994), the Arizona Strip 
District Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (USDI 
BLM 1990), and the Virgin River Habitat 
Management Plan (USDI BLM 1984) identified 
the Virgin River as possessing remarkable 
scenic, geologic, fisheries, and wildlife values. 
Each of these documents stipulates special 
management considerations be applied; none of 
the recommendations have been implemented 
for the Nevada portion as of this date. 



Wilderness Management 

Background 

In compliance with the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act, BLM evaluated lands within the 
planning area for the presence of wilderness 
characteristics (Map 2-6). Recommendations as to 
the suitability of those lands for inclusion in the 
National Wilderness Preservation System were 
forwarded in a report to the President in 1991, and 
subsequently, to Congress in 1992. Lands identified 
through the inventory process as Wilderness Study 
Areas, listed in Table 3-28, are managed according 
to the Interim Management Policy for Lands Under 
Wilderness Review (IMP), BLM Manual H-8550-1. 

Management according to these guidelines requires 
non-degradation of wilderness values and, thus, 
imposes constraints on the types of activities that 
can occur in Wilderness Study Areas. There is no 
specific timeline under which Congress must act on 
the wilderness recommendations. A more complete 
discussion of the wilderness values of each 
Wilderness Study Area is described in the Clark 
County Final Wilderness 

Recommendations/Environmental Impact Statement 
(USDI BLM 1987) and the Nevada Contiguous 
Lands/Final Environmental Impact Statement (USDI 
BLM 1990c). 



3-64 



■^■UHHBiffiiH.'.. '.'.-'..'-.-: -' m 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-28. Wilderness Study Areas. 



Wilderness Study 


Acreage Acres 


Arrow Canyon Rang 


e 32.853 


Muddy Mountains 


96,170 36,850 


Mt. Stirling 


5,600 :: 750 


No. McCullougb Mt 


as. 47,166 : ; 1 : 


So. MeCullough Mti 


is. 56,623 19,558:: 


Resting Spring; 


O OCA ■ : A 


Fish & Wildlife 1.2, 


3 50,334 : : ; ; o 


Lime Canyon 


34,680 13,895 


Million Hills 


21,296 


GiUT&tt "Btiftf*'^ 


11,835 


Quail Springs 


■ V2cmy"r.;m<'-wm 




.12,290:; :0 : 


Ireteba 


14,994 ■• 




3,466;: ... : ■:■ 


: Virgin Mountain 


6,560 ■■ ■ 


La Madre. Mountain 


4.1,306 23,050*: 


Pmp Crf^ptr 


19.722 18;344* 


"Managed under the: 


Redrock CanyonNational. 


. . Conservation Area M 


anagement Plan; Not part 







Arrow Canyon Range Wilderness Study Area 

Arrow Canyon Range Wilderness Study Area (NV- 
050-215) is located in the northern extremity of the 
narrow, north-south trending Arrow Canyon Range. 
The 32,853-acre Wilderness Study Area is located 
35 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada and is 
approximately 12 miles long and 6 miles wide. 



Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

The Arrow Canyon Range shows no evidence 
indicating metallic mineral favorability. It has 
moderate-to-high favorability for nonmetallics, 
including silica, montmorillonite, gypsum, diatomite, 
limestone, dolomite, and aggregate The eastern 
portion of the Wilderness Study Area has been 
identified by the U.S. Geological Survey (1979) as 



moderately favorable for potential geothermal 
resources. 

The favorability for oil and gas resources is 
moderate because this area is part of the Overthrust 
Belt. Although no wells have been drilled in the 
study area, several that have been drilled to the 
south have been unsuccessful. Development of 
energy resources is not expected because of a 
history of nonproduction. 

Eldorado Wilderness Study Area 

Eldorado Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-423) lies 
in the southeastern portion of 

Clark County, Nevada, approximately one hour's 
drive from Las Vegas. The Eldorado Wilderness is 
located immediately north of the old mining town of 
Nelson, Nevada. The study area contains 12,290 
acres of public land and surrounds a private 
inholding of 87 acres in a roughly rectangular 
configuration. It is 5 miles long and 4 miles wide 
and is contiguous with the Lake Mead National 
Recreation Area. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Based upon available data, the entire El Dorado 
Wilderness Study Area is classified as having low 
favorability for metallic and non-metallic minerals 
and moderate favorability for the occurrence of 
uranium (GEM 1083). There are no known deposits 
of these resources in the study area. The entire 
Wilderness Study Area has a low favorability for 
occurrence of sand and gravel (USDI BLM 1983c). 
No material sites occur within the study area at 
present. 

Fish and Wildlife No. 1, 2, 3 Wilderness Study 
Areas 

Fish and Wildlife Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Wilderness Study 
Areas (NV-050-201, 216, and 217) are located in 
northern Clark and southern Lincoln counties, 
approximately 35 miles north of Las Vegas. To 
their west is the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, 
and to their east is U.S. Highway 93. 

The Wilderness Study Area total 50,334 acres: 
No. 1 - ( 11,090 acres) 
No. 2 - (17,242 acres) 
No. 3 - (22,002 acres) 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



This Wilderness Study Area has a long, narrow 
configuration, running north-south for about 45 
miles in length, and measuring 3 miles in width at 
the broadest point. Two heavily traveled roads 
divide the three individual Wilderness Study Areas. 
However, for the purpose of this report, they are 
being considered as one unit. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Fish and Wildlife Nos. 1, 2, and 3 have high 
nonmetallic mineral potential for sand and gravel 
through the entire Wilderness Study Areas, and 
have two existing Nevada Department of 
Transportation sand and gravel pits within them. 
The availability of increasingly fewer, favorable 
locations for sand and gravel closer to the Las 
Vegas market, or along State Highway 93, has 
created some demand for materials within and 
immediately adjacent to the Wilderness Study 
Areas. Because of these conditions, these deposits 
may be economic for commercial exploitation. All 
three Wilderness Study Areas have low-to-moderate 
potential for metallic and other nonmetallic 
minerals. All of Fish and Wildlife Nos. 1 and 2, 
and the portion of Fish and Wildlife No.3 in Clark 
County, have moderate potential for oil and gas. 



Garrett Buttes Wilderness Study Area 

Garrett Buttes Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-235) 
is located in eastern Clark County, approximately 
45 miles due east of Las Vegas. The study area 
contains approximately 11,835 acres of public land. 
The boundary begins at the intersection of the 
Catclaw Road and the Scalon Ferry Road. It 
proceeds to the west along the Catclaw Road to the 
boundary of the Lake Mead National Recreation 
Area and heads south along this boundary for 
almost four miles. It then meets land reserved by 
the Bureau of Reclamation and follows the northern 
edge of this land in a southeasterly direction until it 
meets the Lakeside Mine Road. The boundary then 
follows this road easterly to the Scalon Ferry Road 
and then to the north until it meets the Catclaw 
Road, the starting point. The Wilderness Study 
Area is square in shape, measuring approximately 5 
miles each side. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Available data for the 1983 Geology and Energy 
Minerals assessment indicate that approximately 55 



percent of the Wilderness Study Area (6,509 acres) 
has moderate potential for nonmetallic minerals 
(sand and gravel). The entire study area has low 
favorability for precious metals, but moderate 
favorability for accumulation of base metals. There 
are indications that the area has moderate 
favorability for accumulation of uranium and 
thorium in the northern portion and moderate 
favorability for titanium along the southeast corner 
of the study area. Although a few mining claims 
have been staked within the Wilderness Study Area, 
intensive exploration of and development for 
potential minerals is not expected to occur within 
the Wilderness Study Area due to the remoteness of 
the region, lack of good transportation routes, and 
distance from possible markets. 

The Wilderness Study Area is rated as having low 
potential for energy resources. Neither exploration 
nor development of potential energy resources is 
projected to occur, because the rock strata of the 
Wilderness Study Area are not suitable reservoirs 
for hydrocarbon accumulation. 



Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Study Area 

Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-438) 
is located south of the old mining town of Nelson in 
Clark County, Nevada, approximately an hour's 
drive south of Las Vegas. The study area contains 
approximately 14,994 acres of public land in a 
rectangular configuration nearly 7.5 miles long and 
3.5 miles wide and is contiguous with the Lake 
Mead National Recreation Area. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Approximately 6 percent (900 acres) of the 
Wilderness Study Area is considered to have 
moderate favorability for occurrence of metallic 
minerals and has four known occurrences of 
precious metals at the study area perimeter; the 
remaining portion is considered to have low 
favorability for metallic minerals. Ireteba Peaks 
Wilderness Study Area is classified as having low 
favorability for non-metallic minerals and moderate 
favorability for occurrence of uranium. There are 
no known deposits of non-metallic or uranium 
resources in the study area (USDI BLM 1983c). 
The entire Wilderness Study Area is a continuous 
exposure weathered bedrock that could be used for 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

stone or aggregate. There is low potential for 
energy resources. 



Jumbo Springs Wilderness Study Area 

Jumbo Springs Wilderness Study Area (NV-050- 
236) is located in eastern Clark County, near Lake 
Mead National Recreation Area, approximately 50 
miles east of Las Vegas and encompasses 
approximately 3,466 acres of public lands. The 
Wilderness Study Area boundary is defined by 
physical features and common boundaries with the 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the east and 
Bureau of Reclamation-withdrawn lands to the 
south. The western and northern boundaries are 
defined by a progression of peak to peak lines and 
ridgelines. Section lines common with Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area define the east boundary. 
A section line common with Bureau of 
Reclamation-withdrawn land, immediately south of 
the Wilderness Study Area, is the southern 
boundary. Jumbo Springs Wilderness Study Area is 
approximately 3.5 miles long in a north-south 
direction and 1.5 miles in an east-west direction. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Based upon available information, the study area 
has moderate potential for occurrence of metallic 
minerals (titanium) in a narrow strip on the western 
edge of the Wilderness Study Area, which is 
roughly 25 percent of the area (866 acres). The 
entire area has moderate favorability for 
accumulation of uranium or thorium. The 
favorability for other base metals and precious 
metals is low. Intensive exploration for, or 
development of, potential metallic or nonmetallic 
minerals is not expected to occur due to the 
remoteness of the region, lack of good 
transportation routes, and a generally depressed 
market situation for titanium, uranium, and thorium. 
The Wilderness Study Area has a low favorability 
for occurrence of energy resources. 



La Madre Mountains Wilderness Study Area 

The La Madre Wilderness Study Area (NV-050- 
412) encompasses approximately 41,306 acres of 
public land, with no split estate or private 
inholdings. It is located on the east side of the 
Spring Mountains, approximately 12 miles west of 
Las Vegas within the Red Rock Canyon National 



Conservation Area. The Wilderness Study Area is 
generally rectangular in shape, ranging from 2 to 8 
miles north-south to approximately 17 miles in the 
east-west dimension. The Pine Creek Wilderness 
Study Area (NV-050-414) is immediately adjacent 
to the southern border of the Wilderness Study 
Area, separated by the Red Rock Summit road, an 
improved dirt road in the bottom of the canyon 
between the two Wilderness Study Areas. 

The recommendation was to designate 23,050 acres 
as wilderness. Due to the fact that all but 
approximately 200 acres of the Wilderness Study 
Area is within the Toiyabe National Forest and the 
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 
outside the planning area, the La Madre Wilderness 
Study Area is discussed in and is managed through 
the Interim General Management Plan for the Red 
Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

A geology and energy minerals assessment was 
prepared in 1983. Later, between 1985-87, the U.S. 
Geological Survey and Bureau of Mines surveyed 
34,010 acres of the La Madre Mountain Wilderness 
Study Area recommended for wilderness and 
prepared a mineral assessment. According to their 
report no mineral or energy resources were 
identified within the study area. 

U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1730-A, the 
assessment of the mineral potential for that portion 
of the La Madre Mountain Wilderness Study Area 
recommended for wilderness, noted that 
geochemical sampling of stream sediments within 
the Wilderness Study Area delineated a zone of 
slight silver, lead and zinc anomalies. However, the 
report concluded that the entire area recommended 
for wilderness designation had low mineral resource 
potential for silver, lead, and zinc. No known 
deposits of nonmetallic minerals occur within the 
recommended wilderness area, and a discovery of 
significant near-surface deposits would be unlikely. 
Sand and gravel and limestone suitable for 
construction materials are abundant within the area 
recommended for wilderness designation. Since 
similar materials are available closer to major 
markets, occurrences in the area recommended for 
wilderness were not classified as resources. The 
potential for petroleum resources is rated as low. 



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Lime Canyon Wilderness Study Area 

Lime Canyon Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-231) 
is located in the Overton Arm region, near Lake 
Mead, northwest of Gold Butte in eastern Clark 
County, Nevada. The study area includes 34,680 
acres of public land and surrounds 838 acres of 
patented mining claims. The Wilderness Study 
Area has a generally elongated shape that is north- 
south oriented. It is about 13 miles long and varies 
between 3 and 7 miles wide. Lake Mead National 
Recreation Area borders the Wilderness Study Area 
on the west and the boundary is the western 
boundary of the Wilderness Study Area. The 
recommendation was to designate 13,895 acres as 
wilderness. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Energy and mineral potential of the Wilderness 
Study Area was rated using the following 
information: 

• Mineral report submitted by the U.S. Bureau 
of Mines (MLA 34-88), which studied 9,599 
acres of the Wilderness Study Area. 

• Literature search. 

• Evaluation of the mineral setting. 

• Field verification by BLM and Bureau of 
Mines geologists (included chemical analysis 
of rock samples). 

• GEM Report of 1983 (USDI BLM 1983e). 

• Past and/or present mining activities. 

A small portion of the Wilderness Study Area has 
moderate potential for occurrence of gypsum. The 
remaining area is moderately favorable for deposits 
of industrial limestone and dolomite, although they 
have low development potential due to the remote 
aspect of the area. The study area is classified as 
moderately favorable for uranium and thorium in all 
but the southwestern part. The Lime Canyon 
Wilderness Study Area has low favorability for 
occurrence of energy resources. 



Million Hills Wilderness Study Area 

Million Hills Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-233) 
is located in northeastern Clark County, 
approximately 45 miles east of Las Vegas, across 
Lake Mead in an area known as Gold Butte. 
Although relatively close to Las Vegas, Million 
Hills Wilderness Study Area is more than two hours 



driving time away. The study area contains 21,296 
acres of public land. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Energy and mineral potential of the Wilderness 
Study Area was rated using the following 
information: 

• Mineral report submitted by the U.S. 
Bureau of Mines (MLA 34-88). 

• Literature search. 

• Evaluation of the mineral setting 

• Field verification by BLM and Bureau of 
Mines geologists (included chemical 
analysis of rock samples). 

• GEM Report of 1983 (GRA No. NV-35). 

• Past and/or present mining activities. 

The entire Wilderness Study Area has moderate 
nonmetallic mineral potential (dolomite and 
limestone), and 20 per cent of the Wilderness Study 
Area has moderate metallic mineral potential (base 
metals). Field review of the area by the U.S. 
Bureau of Mines identified the presence of cobalt 
(strategic mineral) associated with manganese 
deposits. The presence of cobalt is of special 
significance, because the grade is comparable to that 
in the Blackbird Mining district in Idaho (the 
nation's only primary cobalt deposit). Million Hills 
Wilderness Study Area is considered to have low 
favorability for the occurrence of energy resources. 



Mount Stirling Wilderness Study Area 

Mount Stirling Wilderness Study Area (NV-050- 
401) is located 45 miles west of Las Vegas,, in 
Clark and Nye counties. Encompassing the 
northern most portion of the Spring Mountain 
Range, the Wilderness Study Area contains 69,650 
acres of U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands. 

The National Forest and Public Lands of Nevada 
Enhancement Act (Public Law 100-550) adjusted the 
administrative boundaries for the Toiyabe National 
Forest, placing approximately 9 1 percent of the 
Mount Stirling Wilderness Study Area within the 
new Forest boundary, leaving only 750 acres under 
BLM administration. 

Approximately 50,000 acres of the total 64,000 
within the Wilderness Study Area that is managed 
by the United States Forest Service is now part of 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and 
is withdrawn from mineral entry. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Between 1983-85, U.S. Geological Survey and 
Nevada Bureau of Mines prepared a mineral 
assessment for the 40,275 acres of the Mount 
Stirling Wilderness Study Area recommended for 
wilderness. According to the report (USDI GS 
1987), a high resource potential for gold was 
assigned to the Grapevine fault system, running 
north-south along the Wilderness Study Area's 
western border. Moderate potential for gold was 
assigned to the Wheeler Pass thrust system along 
the eastern boundary of the study area. The area 
south of Big Timber Spring has an unknown 
mineral resource potential for gold along a poorly 
exposed normal fault system. 

The area northwest of Gold Spring and along the 
crest of the range south of Mount Stirling, and east 
of Mount Stirling has low potential for 
accumulation of base metals such as lead, zinc, 
manganese, and copper. Extensive exposures of 
limestone and dolomite in the area result in a 
classification of moderate favorability for non- 
metallics. Potential for oil and gas within the study 
area is low. 



Muddy Mountains Wilderness Study Area 

Muddy Mountains Wilderness Study Area (NV-050- 
229) is located in Clark County, approximately 20 
miles northeast of Las Vegas. The study area 
includes 96,170 acres of public land. It is irregular 
in shape, approximately 14 miles across in a north- 
south direction at its widest point, and 
approximately 1 8 miles from east to west. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Energy and mineral potential of the Wilderness 
Study Area was rated using the following 
information: 

• Review of existing documentation and mine 
production records. 

• Reconnaissance sampling and analysis of 
selected areas within the Wilderness Study 
Area. 

• Geologic setting of the area. 

The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of 
Mines cooperated in preparing a Mineral Resource 



Potential of the Muddy Mountains Wilderness Study 
Area, Clark County, Nevada (1982). The report 
identified the Muddy Mountains Wilderness Study 
Area as having high potential for mineral deposits 
of calcium borates and lithium. Known and 
potential mineral deposits are concentrated in the 
east-central and south-central parts of the study 
area. Zeolites (in particular clinoptilolite) are 
present in some tuff beds throughout much of the 
study area, with the majority of the deposits external 
to the Wilderness Study Area in the northeast, 
suggesting a moderate to high mineral potential. 
Stream-sediment sampling indicates that the Muddy 
Mountains area has little potential for mineral 
deposits of metals other (than lithium). Building 
stone and silica sand have moderate to low 
potential. 

Oil and gas potential within the study area is low. 
Five exploratory oil and gas test holes have been 
drilled in the vicinity of the Wilderness Study Area, 
one within the cherry-stem road in the Buffington 
Pockets area in the north end of the Wilderness 
Study Area. None of the explorations encountered 
producible amounts of petroleum. The local tertiary 
stratigraphic section within the Wilderness Study 
Area is not considered to have good potential for oil 
exploration (USGS 1982). These rocks are not part 
of the Overthrust belt, were deposited in closed 
evaporitic basins, and contain little or no organic 
matter. The high degree of structural complexity of 
the study area suggests there are probably no buried 
Overthrust-related traps that are undisturbed by 
tertiary structures. The U.S. Geological Survey 
determined that the petroleum potential for the study 
area is regarded as poor, chiefly because of the lack 
of known potential source rocks. 



Nellis ABC Wilderness Study Areas 

Nellis ABC Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-04R- 
15) is located at the north edges of the cities of Las 
Vegas and North Las Vegas, within the corporate 
boundary of the city of North Las Vegas. The 
study area is divided into three small sub-areas 
separated by roads. For the purpose of this report, 
all of the sections will be considered as one. The 
study area has a combined total of 5,718 acres, with 
sub-areas as follows: 

• Sub-area A (1,971 acres) 

• Sub-area B (2,713 acres) 

• Sub-area C (1,024 acres) 



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Chapter 3 • Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



The Wilderness Study Area was originally 
inventoried as part of a 13,400-acre parcel. The 
study area comprises the natural portion ( of the 
original parcel that was contiguous to the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service Desert National Wildlife 
Refuge. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

The entire Wilderness Study Area (5,718 acres) was 
rated as having moderate potential for nonmetallic 
minerals (sand and gravel) and low potential for oil 
and gas. Moderate potential for geothermal 
resources exists within the Wilderness Study Area. 



North McCullough Mountains Wilderness Study 
Area 

North McCullough Wilderness Study Area (NV- 
050-425) is located in the south-central portion of 
Clark county, Nevada, less than 15 miles south of 
Las Vegas and includes 47,166 acres. The entire 
Wilderness Study Area is comprised of public land 
with no private in-holdings and is roughly 
rectangular in shape, approximately 9-10 miles on 
the north-south axis and 7-8 miles on the east-west 
axis. The eastern boundary is located at the base of 
the escarpment, slightly west of a large utility 
corridor in Eldorado Valley. An additional 640 
acres within the Eldorado Valley Lands Act that 
was not acquired by Boulder City will be managed 
under the IMP until those lands have been evaluated 
and released. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Energy and mineral potential of the Wilderness 
Study Area was rated using the following 
information: 

• Literature search. 

• The 1982 Barringer Report (a federally 
contracted mineral survey of the Wilderness 
Study Areas to identify mineral resources and 
incorporating extensive sampling). 

• The Geology, Energy, and Minerals Report 
(1983). 

• Evaluation of the geologic setting and 
consultation with energy and mining 
companies as well as local prospector. 

• Minor field verification by BLM geologists. 

• Past and present mining activities. 



The Wilderness Study Area was evaluated as having 
low favorability for accumulation of metal and 
nonmetal resources, except at the edges of the 
Wilderness Study Area, which have moderate to 
high potential for sand and gravel. Energy 
resources were of low potential. The area is not 
favorable for oil and gas and geothermal resource 
accumulation. 



Pine Creek Wilderness Study Area 

The Pine Creek Wilderness Study Area (NV-050- 
414) is located approximately 15 miles west of Las 
Vegas. The Wilderness Study Area contains 
approximately 19,722 acres of public lands, with no 
split estate or private inholdings. The Wilderness 
Study Area is roughly rectangular in shape, 
approximately 1 1 miles long and 5 miles wide. 
Immediately adjacent its northern border is the La 
Madre Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-412). The 
two Wilderness Study Areas are separated by the 
Red Rock Summit road, an improved dirt road in 
the bottom of the canyon. 

The recommendation was to designate 18,344 acres 
as wilderness. Due to the fact that all of the 
Wilderness Study Area is contained within the 
Toiyabe National Forest and the Red Rock Canyon 
National Conservation Area, outside the planning 
area, the Pine Creek Wilderness Study Area is 
discussed in and is managed through the Interim 
General Management Plan for the Red Rock 
Canyon National Conservation Area. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

The "La Madre Mountains/Pine Creek G-E-M 
Resource Area (GRA No. NV-32) Technical 
Report" classified the Wilderness Study Area as 
having moderate favorability for oil and gas, low 
favorability for geothermal, and low favorability to 
unfavorable for metallic minerals. The entire 
Wilderness Study Area is moderately favorable for 
sand and gravel resources. 

The geology of the area is primarily Paleozoic and 
Mesozoic carbonate units, which are known 
regionally to be hosts for replacement lead-zinc- 
copper deposits. Overall, the mineral potential of 
the area is low. 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Quail Springs Wilderness Study Area 

Quail Springs Wilderness Study Area (NV-050-411) 
is located in northwestern Clark County, at the north 
edge of the city of Las Vegas. The study area 
includes 12,145 acres of public land. The boundary 
is a combination of roads, a shared boundary with 
Floyd Lamb State Park, the Desert National Wildlife 
Refuge, corporate boundary for the City of Las 
Vegas, a common border with the Moapa Indian 
Reservation, and an abandoned railroad grade. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

All of the Wilderness Study Area was rated as 
having moderate nonmetallic mineral potential for 
sand and gravel (USDI BLM 1983g). Geologic 
formations are not considered to be favorable for 
location of metallic minerals or energy resources. 



Resting Spring Wilderness Study Area 

Resting Spring Range Wilderness Study Area (NV- 
050-460) is approximately 15 miles west of 
Pahrump and 60 miles west of Las Vegas, along the 
California-Nevada border, in Nye County, Nevada. 
Access is via Ash Meadows Road several miles to 
the east. Except for the western boundary, which is 
the Nevada-California border, the boundaries of the 
Wilderness Study Area are poorly defined. 
Boundaries meander along the base of the foothills 
of the Resting Spring Range, set back from the 
effects of the Ash Meadows and Stewart Valley 
Roads. The 3,850-acre Wilderness Study Area is 
divided into two unequal parts by a maintained dirt 
road which branches off the Ash Meadows Road. 
The northern portion is 1,050 acres, and the 
southern portion is 2,800 acres. 

Resting Springs Wilderness Study Area is 
contiguous to the California Desert Conservation 
Area's Resting Spring Range Wilderness Study 
Area #145, which covers 89,772 acres in California. 
The 1980 Wilderness Inventory determined that the 
Nevada portion of the Wilderness Study Area did 
not meet wilderness criteria for size, solitude, and 
primitive recreation, except when considered in 
conjunction with the California Wilderness Study 
Area. California BLM has recommended that the 
California Desert Conservation Area Resting 
Springs Wilderness Study Area not be designated 
for wilderness status. 



Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

Resting Spring Wilderness Study Area is largely 
composed of Precambrian and Cambrian marine 
sediments, which have been displaced by normal 
faults, usually less than 1 mile in length. 
Quaternary alluvial fan deposits cover much of the 
lower slopes. Miocene tufaceous lake beds occur 
north of the Wilderness Study Area and in small 
areas inside the north boundary. 

Although the rock units within the Resting Spring 
Wilderness Study area are known to be favorable 
for metallic mineral deposits elsewhere in the 
region, the entire Wilderness Study Area is 
classified as having low favorability for metallic 
mineral resources due to the lack of known mineral 
deposits in the area. Nonmetallic minerals 
resources also have low favorability due to the 
geology of the area. The United States Geological 
Survey Open File Report 90-638 indicated that the 
Wilderness Study Area has high mineral potential 
for industrial clay deposits and moderate potential 
for geothermal resources. The Wilderness Study 
Area has no favorability for oil and gas, or uranium, 
based on a lack of source rocks. 



South McCullough Mountains Wilderness Study 
Area 

South McCullough Mountains Wilderness Study 
Area (NV-050-435) is located approximately 35 
miles south of Las Vegas, just north of the 
California-Nevada border, and 13 miles west of 
Searchlight, Nevada. Encompassing the southern 
portion of the McCullough Mountain Range, the 
Wilderness Study Area is approximately 15 miles 
long and 6 to 9 miles wide. It encompasses 56,623 
acres. 

Energy and Mineral Resource Values 

A report on the mineral potential of the Wilderness 
Study Area was published in the United States 
Geological Survey Bulletin 1730-C (1989). 
According to that report, the Wilderness Study Area 
contains no identified mineral resources and has no 
areas of high mineral resource potential. Five areas 
that make up 20 percent of the study area have a 
moderate potential either for undiscovered silver, 
gold, lead, copper, and zinc resources in small vein 
deposits, for lanthanum and other rare-earth 
elements, uranium, thorium, and niobium in 
medium-size carbonatite bodies and dikes, for 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



tungsten and copper in small to medium size vein 
deposits, or for silver and gold in small vein or 
breccia-pipe deposits. There is moderate 
favorability for sand and gravel and stone, although 
the area is some distance from any markets. The 
entire study area has no resource potential for oil 
and gas or coal, as well as a low resource potential 
for geothermal resources, and for nonmetallic 
pegmatite minerals such as feldspar and mica. 



Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area 

The Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area (NV-050- 
420) is located at the eastern edge of Las Vegas and 
was designated in 1970 as Sunrise Mountain Natural 
Area. The area was identified as having unique 
geologic, biologic, and aesthetic values. Section 
603 (a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act directed that all areas designated as "natural or 
primitive areas" prior to November 1, 1975 be 
studied for their wilderness values. A total of 
29,475 acres were studied, and the area determined 
to lack wilderness characteristics. 

The BLM recommended that the study area be 
dropped from the wilderness review process. The 
original 10,240 acres of the Natural Area continues 
to be managed as an Instant Study Area until the 
non-wilderness recommendation is adopted by 
Congress. 

No specific mineral study was done for the Sunrise 
Mountain Instant Study Area due to the earlier 
recommendation that the area be dropped from 
further wilderness review. 



Virgin Mountain Instant Study Area 

The Virgin Mountain Instant Study Area (NV-050- 
222) is located approximately 85 miles northeast of 
Las Vegas, and southeast of Mesquite, Nevada. 
The Instant Study Area encompasses 6,560 acres. 
This range is of particular scientific interest because 
it encompasses features representative of three 
North American desert life zones. The dense 
vegetation, in conjunction with the steep gradients 
of the terrain, limit access roads to two four-wheel 
drive roads, one from the south and one from the 
northeast. Recreational activities occurring in the 
Instant Study Area include hiking, camping, 
hunting, off-road vehicle touring, and nature study. 



Logandale Supplemental Inventory Area 

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976 mandated that the BLM inventory all public 
lands for possible inclusion in the National 
Wilderness Preservation System. Initial inventories 
were undertaken from 1 976 to 1 979 to identify 
areas for further study. However, certain parcels of 
land near Logandale, Nevada were left out of the 
inventory due to a base mapping error that showed 
most of the lands to be the property of the State of 
Nevada or private. The State had applied for lands 
near the Valley of Fire State Park under the 
Recreation and Public Purposes Act and although 
the case was not (and has yet to be) adjudicated, 
someone had changed the base map to indicate the 
lands were State property. This error was not 
discovered until the late 1980s. To complete the 
review process, these lands are included in this plan 
for final decision. 

The omitted lands are in seven parcels totaling 
approximately 20,299 acres. Six scattered parcels, 
including approximately 6,400 acres, do not meet 
the minimum acreage requirement (5,000 acres) and 
lack wilderness characteristics of outstanding 
solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation 
opportunities. These areas were not studied further 
following this assessment. 

The remaining 13,899 acres are evaluated as 
follows. 

Description 

The lands are located in a roughly rectangular 
shaped area north of the Valley of Fire State Park 
and west of Logandale, Nevada. The area is 
encircled by roads that vary from well maintained 
gravel to rough dirt and rock trails. Several dead- 
end roads penetrate the unit. There is a gypsum 
mine and County flood diversion structure adjacent 
to the northwest corner. 

Naturalness 

The area exhibits a generally natural aspect. Most 
notable impacts are the roads that surround the area. 
The area is not well known to the public although 
use is increasing. 



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Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Outstanding Opportunities for Primitive and 
Unconfined Recreation 

The area offers many opportunities for recreational 
activities in an undeveloped area with minimal 
management control and limitations. The size of 
the area does not lend itself to multi-day uses; 
however, day trips, short hikes and short off-road- 
vehicle routes are available. Because these 
opportunities are not unique or rare to the general 
area, they are not rated as outstanding. 

Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude 

It is possible to escape the sights and sounds of 
civilization in parts of the area. However, the size, 
shape and influence of surrounding roads and 
nearby uses, opportunities for solitude are not 
outstanding. 

Summary Evaluation 

The area is largely in a natural condition, but is 
influenced by adjacent human impacts. The area's 
limited size prevents it from offering outstanding 
opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation or solitude. 



Minerals Management 

Federally-owned minerals in the public domain fall 
into one of the following categories (as defined by 
the Supplemental Program Guidance - BLM Manual 
1624), depending on the kind of mineral: 

Lo eatable Minerals (disposal is nondiscretionary) 

• Uncommon varieties of sand, gravel, stone, 
pumice, pumicite, cinders, and exceptional clay. 

• All "valuable mineral deposits" are locatable 
under the General Mining Law of 1872, except 
those specifically excluded below. 

Leasable Minerals (disposal is discretionary) 

• Fluid Minerals 

- Geothermal resources and associated by- 
products. 

- Oil and gas 

- Oil shale, native asphalt, solid and semi- 
solid bitumen, and bituminous rock, 
including oil impregnated rock or sands 
from which oil is recoverable only by 
special treatment after the deposit is mined 
or quarried. 



• Solid Minerals 

- All minerals on acquired lands, except 
saleable minerals. 

- All minerals on the outer continental shelf. 

- Coal and phosphate. 

- Chlorides, sulfates, carbonates, borates, 
silicates, and nitrates of sodium and 
potassium. 

- Sulphur in the states of Louisiana and New 
Mexico. 

Salable Minerals (disposal is discretionary) 

• Petrified wood and common varieties of sand, 
gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, cinders, and 
clay. 

• All minerals not defined as locatable or leasable. 



Metallic mineral commodities currently being 
produced or processed in the planning area are gold 
and silver. Other metallic minerals known to occur 
include cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, 
nickel, palladium, platinum, thorium, tungsten, 
uranium, vanadium, and zinc. 

Nonmetallic mineral production now exceeds 
metallics in both tonnage and value within the Las 
Vegas BLM District. These commodities include 
alum, alunite, barite, bentonite, industrial and 
common clays, borates, feldspar, fluorspar, 
glauberite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, magnesite, 
marble, mica and beryl, nitrate, perlite, quartz, salt, 
silica, sand and gravel, stone, turquoise, vermiculite, 
and zeolite. Among the commodities that are 
currently or have been commercially extracted are: 
Bentonite, borates, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, 
limestone, and dolomite, magnesium bentonite 
clays, magnesium hormite clays, marble, mica and 
beryl, perlite, turquoise, salt, silica, stone, sand and 
gravel, vermiculite, and zeolite. Only those 
commodities having commercial production history 
are detailed in the following. 

Portions of southern Nevada are classified as 
prospectively valuable for deposits of oil, gas, 
sodium, and potassium. Occurrences of coal, 
phosphate, and oil shale are not known in the Las 
Vegas BLM District. 



Leasable Minerals 

The Minerals Leasing Act (1920) as amended, the 
Acquired Lands Act (1947), the Geothermal Steam 
Act (1970), and 43 CFR 3100-3599 provide the 



3-73 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



legal and regulatory framework for issuance and 
management of mineral leases. These regulations 
apply where public interest exists for development 
of oil, gas, geothermal, coal, and non-energy 
leasable mineral resources. Stipulations are attached 
to leases and permits to assure protection of 
nonmineral resources that are susceptible to impacts 
resulting from the exploration and development of 
leasable mineral resources. In response to the 
desert tortoise being listed as a threatened species in 
1 990, no new leases have been issued in Clark 
County since 1990, pending completion of this 
Resource Management Plan. 

Fluid Leasable Minerals 

Oil and Gas - The first known exploration well 
drilled in Clark County occurred in 1929 near 
Arden, 15 miles southwest of Las Vegas (Garside et 
al. 1988). An area near Mesquite in the 
northeastern part of the county was touted as a 
prospective oil area, but no known wells were 
drilled on the Nevada side of the Utah-Nevada 
border as a result of the promotion. 

Some sporadic drilling occurred in the 1940s, but 
more serious efforts began in 1950 when 
exploration throughout Nevada increased 
significantly. Although numerous wells have 
reported oil shows, the lack of a discovery and the 
general decrease in Nevada drilling in the late 1960s 
and early 1970s resulted in few wells being drilled 
in Clark County until the early 1980s. Some of 
these recent wells were drilled to test the possibility 
of "overthrust belt" oil fields like those in western 
Wyoming and northeastern Utah. 

The deepest well drilled in Nevada is in Clark 
County on Mormon Mesa. In 1980, the Virgin 
River U.S.A. No. 1-A was drilled by Mobil Oil 
Corporation in SEWSWW, Sec. 9, T. 15 S., R. 68 
E., to a depth of 19,562 feet. It was an 
unsuccessful overthrust test. Map 3-11 shows those 
areas within the Las Vegas BLM District classified 
as having high, moderate, and low potential for 
development of oil and gas. To date, 70 permits for 
drilling of oil and gas wells have been issued and 
65 wells have been drilled. A total of 33 
geophysical exploration permits, totaling 33 have 
been issued in the planning area. There has been 
no oil and gas production within the Las Vegas 
BLM District. 



Geothermal Resources - Based upon available data, 
southern Nevada contains no known favorable 
locations for development of geothermal energy. A 
water temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (the 
hottest water in Clark County) occurs at Black 
Canyon Springs near Hoover Dam. Commercial 
development requires temperatures of at least 194 
degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures of not less 
than 350 degrees Fahrenheit are needed for direct 
application uses (such as power generation). The 
low temperatures of waters in southern Nevada 
preclude their use as a geothermal energy source, 
except for small scale uses (such as space heating, 
swimming pools, and spas). There are no existing 
geothermal leases within the planning area. 

Solid Leasable Minerals 

Map 3-12 displays those areas within the Las Vegas 
BLM District classified as having moderate and low 
potential for development of sodium and potassium. 
However, there are no existing leases for these two 
compounds within the Las Vegas BLM District, and 
no areas are classified as having high potential for 
their development. 

Salable Minerals 

The Materials Act (1947), as amended, and 43 CFR 
3600-3622 provide for regulation and disposal of 
mineral materials. Disposal is administered on a 
case-by-case basis. 

Salable minerals are sold at fair market values. 
Free use permits are issued to Federal and state 
agencies, local communities, and nonprofit groups 
as the need arises. Map 3-13 shows those areas 
within the Las Vegas BLM District classified as 
having high, moderate, and low potential for 
development of mineral materials. 

Locatable Minerals 

Exploration for and development of locatable 
mineral resources is authorized by the General 
Mining Law of May 10, 1872, as amended. Federal 
regulations (43 CFR 3802 and 3809) provide 
protection to nonmineral resources, provide for 
reclamation of disturbed areas and for mineral 
exploration and development, while assuring that 
activities are conducted in a manner that prevents 
unnecessary or undue degradation. 



3-74 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Currently, approximately 95 percent of the planning 
area is open to entry under the locatable minerals 
laws. Map 3-14 shows those areas within the Las 
Vegas BLM District classified as having high, 
moderate, and low potential for development of 
locatable minerals. Maps 3-15 and 3-16 show areas 
where Plans of Operation and Mining Notices have 
been filed, respectively. 

Many mining districts in southern Nevada have 
yielded significant production in the past, and some 
are currently producing large quantities of material. 
It is difficult to give a general description of these 
deposits, because of their variety and number and 
also the diversity of geological settings in the 
various districts. Deposits are therefore divided into 
two groups, metals and nonmetals. The metals are 
discussed by separate districts. The nonmetals are 
discussed by commodities, because kindred deposits 
are not confined to districts (see Mineral Potential 
Report for details). 

Mining in southern Nevada began in 1857 with 
discovery of lead ore at the Potosi mine, which later 
became the area's second largest producer of zinc 
(Hewett 1931). In 1892, the discovery of gold in 
the Keystone mine greatly stimulated activity in the 
Goodsprings district and southern Nevada. 
Subsequent development of metallic and nonmetallic 
deposits continues, but nonmetallic mineral 
production in the area far exceeds metallic mineral 
production in both tonnage and value. 



Mining Districts 

The principal mining districts of the Las Vegas 
BLM District are described below, including a brief 
overview of the history, production, and resources 
of each district. 

Ash Meadows District - The Ash Meadows 
bentonite district has the largest clay production of 
any clay district in Nevada. Production began about 
1918, and an estimated $3 million worth of clay 
was extracted during the first 50 years of the district 
(Krai 1951). Clays were used to filter and clarify 
mineral oils and also used as an absorbent. In the 
1960s, interest in the bentonite deposits dropped 
significantly, although major oil companies still 
retained mineral rights for portions of the district. 
In the early 1970s, Industrial Mineral Venture, Inc. 
(IMV) began to produce bentonite clays from the 
district. This operation continues clay production 
under new management as EVIV/Florida. 



Bare Mountain (Fluorine) District - The Bare 
Mountain Fluorine district is located in the extreme 
northern portion of the planning area and extends 
beyond the boundary of the Las Vegas District. 
Gold was discovered in 1905, and the early limits of 
the district were confined to the northern part of 
Bare Mountain. In the 1950s, the district expanded 
to include the southern part of Bare Mountain (Krai 
1951). This district is best known for its production 
of fluorspar. In the late 1970s, new production 
within the district shifted from fluorspar to gold 
when the Sterling Mine opened. Until this time, 
gold was known to occur within the district, but 
only limited production occurred. The Sterling 
Mine is the only active large-scale heap leach 
operation in the Las Vegas BLM District. 

Eldorado Canyon District - The Eldorado Canyon 
district, located in the Eldorado and Opal 
Mountains, is one of the oldest in Nevada. Mining 
began in the area in 1857, with discovery of gold 
ore on the Honest John claim. Reports indicate that 
old arrastras and prospect pits, dating prior to the 
1860s, were found in the area. Estimates of 
production between 1861 and 1906 totaled between 
$2 and $5 million (Ransome 1907). Significant 
production from the district ended in 1942 with 
closure of the Techatticup Mine. Since then, 
limited exploration and production has taken place 
in the district. 

Goodsprings (Potosi. Yellow Pine) District - The 
Goodsprings (Potosi, Yellow Pine) district was the 
principal source of zinc in Nevada during World 
War I and II. Located in the Spring Mountains, the 
district was first described in 1856 by Nathaniel 
Jones, who was verifying Indian reports of a lead 
occurrence for the Mormon Church (Hewett 1931). 
The Potosi Mine was the first Nevada mine, with 
ores smelted by Jones in 1857; production has been 
intermittent since that date. Significant production 
in the district occurred from 1912 to about 1920, 
and at a reduced rate by steady pace until the 
1950s. 

Today, interest in the district continues with limited 
exploration and processing of tailings from the 
Keystone Mine by Durvada, Inc. Zinc, lead, 
copper, cobalt, silver, gold, and other minerals were 
extracted between 1856 and 1957, for an estimated 
value of $31,000,000. 

Searchlight District - The Searchlight district was 
discovered in 1897 and has a recorded production of 
over $6 million. The district lies in the western 



3-75 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



m 



Opal Mountains and has yielded gold, silver, 
copper, and lead. Since the early 1950s, interest in 
the district has been intermittent with some 
exploration and limited production at the older 
mines. 

Other mining districts with lesser productions within 
the planning area include the Bare Mountain 
(Fluorine), Bunkerville (Copper King), Big Dune 
(Lee), Charleston, Crescent, Dike, Gass Peak, Gold 
Butte, Johnnie, Las Vegas, Newberry, Railroad 
Pass, and Sunset districts. Minerals extracted were 
alunite, copper, gold, lead, manganese, silver, and 
zinc, as well as minor amounts of other materials. 
Map 3-19 depicts general locations of mineral 
activities conducted under the auspices of the 1872 
Mining Law during the last 10 years in the Las 
Vegas District. 

Nonmetallic Mineral Deposits 

Nonmetallic mineral production now exceeds 
metallics in both tonnage and value within the 
Stateline Resource Area. These commodities 
include alum, alunite, barite, bentonite and clay, 
borates, feldspar, fluorspar, glauberite, gypsum, 
limestone and dolomite, magnesite, marble, mica 
and beryl, nitrate, perlite, quartz, salt, silica, sand 
and gravel, stone, turquoise, and vermiculite. 
vermiculite. Among the commodities that are 
currently or have been commercially extracted are 
bentonite, borates, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, 
limestone and dolomite, marble, mica and beryl, 
perlite, turquoise, salt, silica, stone, sand and gravel. 
Only those commodities with a commercial 
production history are detailed in the following. 

Alunite - The Railroad Pass (Alunite) district is 
located approximately 5 miles east of Boulder City. 
The Alunite Mining Company was organized in 
1908, but company operations ceased after a short 
period of activity. The area was considered as a 
possible source of potash and alumina during the 
two World Wars, but the grade and distribution of 
the alunitized rock proved unfavorable for 
commercial exploitation. 

The Quo Vadis Mining Company began operation 
in 1915, but has had only intermittent activity. 
Little production has been recorded for the district 
(Vanderburg 1937). Figures from the Minerals 
Yearbook of 1936 show production of 925 ounces 
of gold, 749 ounces of silver, and 1,832 pounds of 
lead, valued at $33,035. 



Bentonite - Several deposits of bentonitic type clay 
occur in Clark County, but only a small amount of 
clay has been mined from them. Richfield Oil 
Company mined 2,960 tons of the clay in 1 929, 
presumably from altered rocks near Las Vegas 
(Fulton and Smith 1932). Clay has been mined near 
the Wall Street mine (T. 26 S., R. 64 E.,Section 4) 
and trucked to Whitney, for use in making bricks. 
Bentonite has also been located in the vicinity of 
Overton, Moapa, and Searchlight. Some 
development has been done on these deposits, and 
small quantities are occasionally mined. No recent 
exploration or development for bentonite are known 
from Clark County. 

Borate - Borate deposits occur in White Basin in the 
central part of the Muddy Mountains in northeastern 
Clark County. A large group of patented mining 
claims, including the Anniversary Mine and the old 
workings of the American Borax Company, are 
located in the eastern part of White Basin. 

Feldspar - Feldspar of commercial quality is 
abundant in the Virgin Mountains and in the ranges 
of the southern part of Clark County; these deposits 
have received slight attention due to inaccessibility 
and distance from markets. The only production 
reported is from a deposit located on the west slope 
of Crescent Peak with an estimated 1,000 tons of 
feldspar having been mined and shipped (Hewett et 
al. 1936). 

Fluorspar - Fluorspar veins occur in the 
McCullough Range. Development work, consisting 
of a short adit and several open cuts, has explored 
the veins, but only a few tons of fluorspar have 
been shipped (Vanderburg 1937). 

Gypsum - Extensive deposits of gypsum occur in 
the Virgin Mountains, in the Muddy Mountains 
southward to Frenchman Mountain and vicinity, and 
in the Spring Mountains west and southwest of Las 
Vegas (Longwell et al. 1965). Five mines are 
currently producing gypsum from private and public 
lands within the Las Vegas District. Significant 
exploration for gypsum is also occurring. 

Limestone and Dolomite - Deposits of carbonate 
rocks are widely distributed in all parts of southern 
Nevada, with the exception of a wide belt west of 
the Colorado River south of Lake Mead. The 
carbonate rocks range in age from Early Cambrian 
to Tertiary. To date, the only extensively 
developed sites are the Devonian limestone at Apex 



3-76 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

(high calcium limestone) and the Mississippian 
dolomite at Sloan (dolomitic limestone). 

Chemstar, Inc. owns and operates a limestone 
quarry and a crushing, and calcining plant at Apex, 
19 miles northeast of Las Vegas and one mile 
northeast of the Georgia Pacific gypsum plant. 
Limestone and dolomite have been mined since 
1910 at Sloan, which is approximately 19 miles 
south of Las Vegas. Dolomite was not mined 
commercially before 1 928, but since then has 
become the principal product. The main markets 
for limestone and dolomite products are sugar beet, 
oil, and iron industries in southern California. 
Potential for development of limestone and 
dolomitic deposits within the Las Vegas District is 
quite high. Production could be for lime or portland 
cement. Other development work includes the 
current construction of a Portland cement plant near 
Logandale. The plant is anticipated to be producing 
cement within the next 2 years. 

Marble - Marble has been quarried at the south end 
of the Las Vegas Range, 14 miles north of Las 
Vegas (Burchard 1914). The marble is derived 
from limestone of Mississippian Age, recrystallized 
during secondary dolomitization. According to 
Cornwall (1972), unsuccessful attempts have been 
made to quarry marble at Carrara Canyon, 7 miles 
southeast of Beatty. 

Magnesium Bentonite Clays. Magnesium Hormite 
Clays - Clay is currently mined at two sites in the 
Ash Meadows region in southern Nye County. The 
company's annual production ranges from 25,200 to 
45,500 tons of clay per year. Clays also occur in 
abandoned clay mines in the Clay Camp, Nevada 
area, in the central portion of the Ash Meadows 
wetlands area. 

Mica and Beryl - Deposits of mica and beryl occur 
in pegmatite dikes in the Virgin Mountains, 9 miles 
southeast of Bunkerville; in the South Virgin 
Mountains east and south of Gold Butte; in the Opal 
Mountains; and in the southern McCullough Range. 
Production of mica and beryl has been small, 
although a few shipments of mica were made from 
properties in the South Virgin Mountains at the turn 
of the century (Parker 1894); the principal property 
is the Santa Cruz mine. 

Perlite - The perlite deposits developed in southern 
Nevada are in the McCullough and Highland Spring 
Ranges in the southern part of the Spring Mountains 
(Cochran 1951). The majority of these deposits are 



interlayered with other volcanic rocks such as dacite 
and obsidian. 

Quartz - Some optical quality quartz crystals occur 
in pegmatite dikes of the Gold Butte District. No 
production figures are available, although a small 
amount of quartz was produced from mines in the 
region. 

Salt - Large deposits of rock salt once cropped out 
in the Virgin River Valley in eastern Clark County. 
Except for several small domes near Salt Cove, all 
the outcrops were covered when Lake Mead was 
filled in the 1930s. Common salt was one of the 
earliest materials mined in Nevada. Prehistoric 
Indians are known to have mined rock salt, creating 
the remarkable "salt cave" with two large 
underground chambers observed by Harrington in 
1926. The Virgin Valley salt was later mined by 
white settlers. 

Silica - According to Longwell et al. (1965), the 
high purity silica raw materials of economic 
significance are the Eureka Quartzite, Supai 
Formation, Aztec Sandstone, Baseline Sandstone, 
and recent deposits of eolian sand. Although 
practically all of these materials have been 
exploited, only the Baseline Sandstone and eolian 
sand are currently used. Simplot Silica Products in 
Overton ships both crude and dry finished products 
that are utilized by the foundry, glass, and chemical 
industries. 

The most commonly used high purity silica raw 
materials are: sand, sandstone, gravel, quartzite, 
conglomerate, and massive quartz that contain 95 
percent Si0 2 or better. Market specifications favor 
the present utilization of Clark County sands for 
glass melting, but a substantial tonnage is consumed 
by the West Coast foundry trade. The Eureka 
Quartzite may be considered a potential source for 
refractory and metallurgical use. 

Stone, Sand, and Gravel - Deposits of stone, sand, 
and gravel for use as construction and building 
material have been developed throughout the 
planning area (Maps 3-20 and 3-21). The most 
significant development of sand and gravel deposits 
is in the greater Las Vegas area to support the 
building boom that started about 1984. Production 
of sand and gravel from non-Title 23 sources in the 
Las Vegas District is in excess of 1.2 million cubic 
yards of material. Another significant development 
of sand and gravel is the Nevada Department of 



3-77 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Transportation, which currently maintains 181 
material site rights-of-way. 

Dimension stone has been quarried in the vicinity of 
the Red Bluff Mine and Rainbow Quarries since the 
late 1940s. Recent production at this site has been 
significant, with current operations being conducted 
by the Las Vegas Rock Shop. Dimension stone has 
also been produced from other quarries in the Las 
Vegas BLM District, but the Rainbow Quarries site 
is the only active area in the planning unit. 

Turquoise - The Crescent district is in the extreme 
southern part of the McCullough Range about 12 
miles west of Searchlight, Nevada. Turquoise was 
prehistorically mined in the this area by Indians. In 
1894, the deposits were rediscovered and have been 
intermittently active since. A considerable amount 
of turquoise was produced, especially from 1894 to 
1906, but recorded production figures are lacking. 
The turquoise is light to dark blue and has a dense 
texture. Vanderburg (1937) reports that in 1906 a 
single specimen was found in the Toltec mine that 
weighed 320 carats and was valued at $2,600. 

Vermiculite - A vermiculite mine is located in T. 19 
S., R. 70 E., Sec. 35, approximately 0.5 mile north 
of the Snowflake mica mine. Deposits occur as 
veins, stringers, pockets, and scattered flakes. The 
vermiculites are considered to have been formed 
when biotite was altered by action of hydrothermal 
solutions (Leighton 1954). Remains of a mill are 
on the property, but no record of production or 
recent activity is available. 

Zeolite - An active zeolite mine and other known 
zeolite resources are present in the Ash Meadows 
area in southern Nye County, Nevada near the 
California border. The zeolites are used for 
industrial applications in odor control, heavy metal 
ion removal, agricultural use, and sewage and waste 
treatment. In addition, zeolitized rhyolitic tuffs 
have been quarried for many years for use in stone 
and lightweight aggregate industries. Increases in 
domestic sales and production of natural zeolites 
were seen between 1988 to the present largely due 
to growth in pet litter, agricultural and odor control 
products, and locally due to continued rapid 
population growth and booming construction 
industry. 



Hazardous Materials Management 

The Hazardous Materials Program has the 
responsibility for compliance with Federal, State, 
interstate and local management requirements. All 
non-Interior groups whose activities are on BLM- 
managed lands and facilities (such as claimants, 
concessionaires, contractors, permittees, and lessees) 
will be held responsible for compliance with 
Federal, State, interstate, and local waste 
management requirements. Waste is defined to 
include solid and hazardous waste, hazardous 
materials, and hazardous substances, as defined by 
the statutes referenced in 518 DM 2.3. 

The Hazardous Materials Program is also 
responsible for aggressively pursuing potentially 
responsible parties to correct their contamination of 
BLM lands and facilities or to recover the costs of 
cleanup. Land use decisions incorporate 
consideration whether hazardous materials would be 
used. Site-specific hazardous material inventories 
are completed when lands are either acquired or 
disposed. BLM cannot acquire contaminated lands 
unless directed by Congress, court mandate, or as 
determined by the Secretary (602 DM 2). Land 
disposal actions must comply with disclosure 
requirements found in 40 CFR 373. Mining and 
milling sites are inspected to determine appropriate 
management for hazardous materials. Knowledge 
of the locations of these activities alerts the agency 
concerning existing and potential problems. The 
agency attempts to minimize releases of hazardous 
materials through compliance with current 
regulations. When hazardous materials are released 
into the environment, impacts on resources are 
assessed and appropriate response, removal or 
remedial actions are taken. 



Fire Management 

Fire management activities are conducted under an 
Initial Attack Management system, which links the 
level of fire fighting response to the resource values 
within a specific geographic area or suppression 
area/zone (refer to Map 2-11). The designations 
developed for initial attack response will be used to 
efficiently organize and distribute fire personnel and 
equipment to those areas of highest resource 
priority. Baseline management goals are suggested 
for the following Initial Attack Management Levels: 



3-78 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

1 . Suppress all wildfires at 500 acres or less 90 
percent of the time. 

2. Suppress all wildfires at 100 acres or less 90 
percent of the time. 

3. Suppress all wildfires at 10 acres or less 90 
percent of the time. 

If future resource needs change, initial attack 
management levels may require adjustment. This 
could be accomplished through coordination with 
fire management. 

Between 1978 and 1988, approximately 78,212 
acres of BLM-managed land burned within the old 
Stateline Resource Area. A total of 64 percent of 
all wildfires that were greater in size than 100 acres 
occurred in the Spring Mountains. A fire 
occurrence map is available at the Las Vegas BLM 
Field Office. Table 3-29 summarizes the 11 -year 
fire history. 

From 1988 through 1994, fire occurrence was 
documented for the Las Vegas BLM District. The 
frequency of fires in the Gold Butte and Searchlight 
areas increased considerably. The increase warrants 
concern over impacts to critical desert tortoise 
habitat. 

The public lands managed by the Las Vegas BLM 
District have numerous rural/urban/wildland 
interface zones, defined as those areas where both 
rural and urban sprawl has occurred in wildland 
areas. These zones require a special response mode 
that includes as a priority the immediate protection 
of life and property until arrival of a structural fire 
agency. Then, the fire reverts to a wildland priority, 
that of protecting the natural resources. 

The use of certain fire suppression techniques are 
incorporated into pre-attack scenarios so that fire 
suppression strategies and tactics are acceptable to 
protect the various special environments. These 
special areas include riparian areas, designated 
natural areas, Wilderness Study Areas, mining 
districts, cultural resource districts including both 
prehistoric and historic, desert tortoise habitat areas, 
airshed management areas, designated research 
areas, and rural/urban/wildland interface zones. 

The fire prevention and education program is 
responsible for wildland fire prevention, prescribed 
fire education, fire trespass and investigations, and 
compiling fire statistics. The function of the 



program is to provide and maintain a viable and 
effective fire prevention and education program to 
educate the public concerning fire prevention 
concerns, fire management activities, and fire 
statistics for public education. Special emphasis is 
given to use of fireworks, abandoned campfires, 
railroad fires, children playing with fire, and 
prescribed fire and fire occurrence data. The fire 
trespass and investigations team of the fire 
prevention program is responsible for investigating 
human-caused fire to determine the origin, ignition 
source, and the identity of the responsible persons. 
After the cause is determined, proper documentation 
and billing will occur. 

There are two major uses of prescribed fire to 
achieve specific fire and resource goals in southern 
Nevada. Wildland fire hazard reduction involves 
decreasing a quantity of accumulated fuel that could 
through natural means become a devastating event. 
Prescribed burns also facilitate vegetative 
manipulation to benefit habitat. 

The range of wildfires does not follow jurisdictional 
boundaries. The use of cooperative agreements 
promotes the common goals for the agency to 
manage incidents in a cost-effective manner for the 
protection of life, property, and natural resources. It 
is in the interests of city, county, state, tribal, and 
Federal agencies to work toward a common goal 
concerning an incident. 

There are eight identified resource concerns 
described below. 

1. Wilderness Study Areas 

Fire suppression efforts in Wilderness Study 
Areas strive to maintain the qualities of the 
existing environment and must be conducted to 
comply with the non-impairment criteria in the 
Interim Management Policy. This includes 
implementation of minimum handline 
construction, engine crew hose lay deployment, 
limited or no off-road vehicle driving, use of 
existing open areas for heliports and drop 
zones, an emphasis on use of smokejumpers or 
helitack crews and use of natural barriers, and a 
prohibition on bulldozer lines. In some cases, 
fire line rehabilitation may be necessary 
following the conclusion of an incident. 

2. Designated Natural Areas 

Values that constitute a Natural Area, including 
unique visual resources, vegetative community 
uniqueness, and specific biological qualities, are 



3-79 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



described in those documents that prescribed 
the designation. Fire suppression strategies are 
set in those documents. In most situations, a 
resource advisor is required during 
implementation of fire suppression field 
strategies. 

3. Cultural Resources and Historical Properties 
In areas where important cultural resources, 
including both prehistoric and historic features 
were identified, a qualified archaeologist is 
required to assist the incident commander on 
possible fire suppression equipment restrictions. 
Historic structures, such as mining fixtures and 
ranching line cabins, are fragile and should 
receive maximum protection. 

4. Desert Tortoise Habitat Areas 

Fire suppression tactics focus on protection of 
tortoise habitat, while minimizing impacts to 
the species. At present, the strategy is to 
conduct immediate suppression efforts. 

5. Rivarian Areas 

The strategy in riparian areas is to protect 

Table 3-29. Summary of 10 year fire history. 



1978 


75 


2481 


6 


1979 


: :' : :--: : 83- 


'■■-.': 2221 : 


- 40 


1980 


136 


16,070 


2563 


1981 


146 


7651 


197 


1982 


175 


14,503 


1 


1983 


117 : 


4074 


■; 2204 


1984 


119 


377 


! 75 


1985: ■: 


138 


::668: 


■ ■': 256 


1986 


134 


21 1 


11 


im 


159: 


7172 


; 884 


1988 


: 133 


22.784 


v 9350 



1,415 



(Source; 



habitat and species. Because protection of 
species is important, the use of ground and/or 
aerial retardants and foams are restricted. 



6. Mining Districts 

The nature of mining often involves use of 
toxic and hazardous chemicals. Special training 
with fire department and environmental 
protection agencies is necessary for personnel 
involved in directing suppression activities. 
The tactics should be a result of consideration 
of a "back-off and protect" policy. 

7. Air Shed Management 

Fire suppression strategies should emphasize 
immediate limitation of conflagrations in the 
Las Vegas Valley "air shed" due to the negative 
impact on air quality in the urban area. 

8. Svecial Vegetative Communities 

To protect the range of special vegetative 
communities, such as desert biomes with 
mesquite and certain cacti, fire suppression 
actions should be immediate in these designated 
areas. 

The use of fire suppression equipment and 
techniques to the maximum design capabilities will 
be modified as necessary to assure impacts from 
suppression activities are not greater than effects 
from the fire. In areas or locations where special 
resource concerns have been identified, a resource 
advisor will be requested to assist the incident 
commander. 

Socioeconomic Values 

Area and Population 

Las Vegas Valley, a highly developed urban area 
where the majority of the state's population (66 
percent in 1996) resides, is the hub of Clark County 
and southern Nevada. According to the Nevada 
State Demographers Office (1997), Clark County's 
population was estimated at more than one million 
in July 1996; it is expected to more than double by 
the year 2010 and then to exceed 2.5 million by 
2017. In recent years, estimates are that as many as 
6,000 people move into the Las Vegas Valley each 
month, some as retirees, others for employment 
opportunities (Lee 1995). This in-migration 
pushed Clark County's population to over one 
million in mid-1995, and the phenomenal growth 
has continued. According to the Census Bureau's 
data for 1990 to 1996, the fastest growing U.S. city 
with a population over 100,000 is Henderson, and 
the sixth fastest growing city is Las Vegas. The 



3-80 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Nevada Department of Employment, Training and 
Rehabilitation reported, in October 1997, that the 
city of North Las Vegas is growing even faster than 
Las Vegas, but its population was not above 
100,000 and was therefore not reported by the 
Census Bureau. One of the county's fast growing 
rural communities is the city of Mesquite, which 
has a population of 7,460 but is expected to double 
by year 2010. Clark County will continue to be a 
majority of the Nevada population over the next 20 
years, assuming that current economic growth and 
in-migration trends continue (UNLV 1994), 

Situated within Clark County are two Indian 
reservations (Moapa Paiute and Las Vegas). The 
Moapa Paiute Reservation comprises 71,961 acres 
off Interstate Highway 15, about 45 miles northeast 
of Las Vegas. Its resident population is an 
estimated 330 persons. The Las Vegas Tribe has 
3,856 acres, incorporating two land bases, one 
within the Las Vegas City limits and the other 
about 15 miles northwest of Las Vegas, off 
Interstate Highway 95. The resident population of 
the Las Vegas Tribe is 1 14. The annual growth 
rate of both tribes is three percent (BIA 1993). 

The population density in Clark County is estimated 
at 141 persons per square mile. The majority of 
that county's population resides within Las Vegas 
Valley. Most of the county is sparsely populated 
and similar in character to the rural southern 
portion. 

Nye County, the largest in the State, is rural and 
sparsely populated. With an estimated population 
of 25,240 in 1996 (Nevada State Demographer's 
Office) and a total area of 18,147.2 square miles, 
population density for Nye County is about 1.4 
persons per square mile. Federal ownership of land 
within Nye County totals 8,560,733 acres, or nearly 
74 percent of the 11,568,558-acre land base. An 
estimated 700,000 acres of this public land is 
managed by the Las Vegas BLM Field Office. 

At the end of 1996, approximately 17,000 persons 
lived in the southern portion of Nye County in the 
Las Vegas BLM District. An estimated 13,761 
persons lived in Pahrump Township, a primarily 
residential rural community. Pahrump is the fastest 
growing town in Nye County and its population is 
projected to reach 17,091 in the year 2001. Its 
present annual growth is about 6 percent. 



Income and Employment 

Tables 3-30 and 3-31 show earnings and 
employment, by major industries, in 1995 for both 
counties. The service industries are the single most 
important employers and income producers for the 
two counties, with Federal and State Government 
providing the second largest source of income for 
Clark County, and the third most important source 
for Nye County. The high incidence of mining in 
Nye County makes mineral production that county's 
second most important source of income, and its 
third most important employer. 

The predominance of service industries is explained 
primarily by gaming employment in Clark County. 
In Nye County, it is attributed to civilian 
employment of private firms providing contractual 
services to the U.S. military facilities. 

Approximately 28.3 million tourists and 
conventioneers from all over the world came to the 
Las Vegas Valley in 1994, and the numbers 
continue to increase. Visitors are attracted by the 
gaming and resort industry, which has made Las 
Vegas one of the nation's most impressive economic 
growth phenomenons. In 1994, visitor expenditures 
provided $19.2 billion to the southern Nevada 
economy. The gaining and resort industry of 
southern Nevada, as well as the favorable tax 
climate, induced growth in the services, 
manufacturing, construction, and retail industries. 
In all, these industries created over 39,000 new jobs 
in 1994 (Lee 1995). The gaming and resort 
industry is undoubtedly the driving force for 
community and economic development in southern 
Nevada (Acruso 1995). 

The Nye County economy is based on Federal 
facility employment, mining, recreation, 
tourist/highway travelers, and retiree income (Nye 
County 1993). The service industry is the number 
one employer and income producer in both 
Pahrump and Amargosa Valley. In Pahrump, the 
service industry is followed by the retail trade and 
manufacturing industries in producing income and 
employment. Due to its reputation as a retirement 
center and its close proximity to Las Vegas, 
Pahrump is expected to continue attracting new 
residents. In Amargosa Valley, the service industry 
is followed by mining, retail trade, and agriculture 
in producing income and employment (Nye County 
OEDP 1993). As the community nearest to the 
proposed Department of Energy Yucca Mountain 



3-81 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Repository, Amargosa Valley would receive 
population growth from construction and operation 
if that facility is authorized. 

Unemployment rates, by county for December 1997 
were 3.9 percent for Clark, and 3.7 percent for Nye. 
These rates compare very favorably with the 
previous year's unemployment rates of 5.1 and 4.5 
percent, respectively. Both counties reported an 
expanding labor force and a decline in the numbers 
of unemployed. The Nevada Department of 
Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation reports 
that Clark County, with about 66 percent of the 
state's total employment, created over 80 percent of 
the net new jobs in the last year. 

Annual per capita personal income figures for 1995 
show Clark ($23,812) and Nye ($18,462) counties 
are below the average of $24,361 for the state's 17 
counties. Clark and Nye Counties ranked 4* and 
15 m , respectively. 



Social Setting, Attitudes, and Values 

The State of Nevada is characterized as an 
individualistic state that affords and favors income- 
earning opportunities to miners, farmers, ranchers, 
and merchants; and more recently to those 
employed in the gaming entertainment, recreation, 
and construction industries. This assessment holds 
true for southern Nevada. These activities are seen 
as attracting individuals who wish to pursue their 
economic objectives relatively free from 
government interference (Sodin 1994). However, 
"water allocations,... and a significant defense 
establishment all suggest that the role of the 
government bears heavily on Nevada" (Sodin 1994). 

A 1995 social research survey conducted by the 
University of Nevada Las Vegas revealed social 
attitudes and values of the southern Nevada urban 
and rural populations. Rural residents are less 
tolerant of outside influence in their lives and value 
personal independence, responsibility, and self- 
reliance. These characteristics are typical of 
ranchers and miners who cherish their traditional 
and historical lifestyles. Economic development, 
industrial growth, and community expansion are 
generally favored by both populations. However, 
the Las Vegas urban population recorded its need 
for environmental protection actions in relation to 
water demand, air quality, and traffic congestion. 
Urbanites related a higher concern than rural 



counterparts about wildlife and ecosystem values 
when recording their risk assessment for the 
proposed Department of Energy nuclear waste 
storage facility at Yucca Mountain. Dennis Sodin, 
a University of Nevada Las Vegas Social Science 
Professor, explained that rural closeness to the 
natural system may account for this value disparity 
in contrast to urbanites who yearn for the rural 
experience and day-to-day closeness with a more 
healthy ecosystem having a higher quality of life. 
The rural population, including Native American 
Reservation communities, is more concerned about 
urban water use, outside government control of their 
destinies, and intrusions into their territory. In 
general, Clark and Nye county populations favor 
growth, contingent on consideration for planned 
growth to support their desire for development of 
new and diversified employment and income 
opportunities. Both populations are concerned 
about the economics of developing their physical 
infrastructures to support their future community 
and economic growth needs. 

The Las Vegas and Moapa Paiute Indian 
governments and tribal members have special 
recognition from the Federal government concerning 
their land, cultural, and economic resources. 
Another tribe, The Mojave (situated on the 
Colorado River in the vicinity of Northern Arizona, 
Southern Nevada, and California borders) lays claim 
to the Spirit Mountain Area. This area, known as 
the Newberry Mountain Range, is approximately 
15 miles south of Searchlight, Nevada. The tribe's 
claim is based on their traditional and historic 
cultural relationship with The Mountain. 

Secretarial Order 3175 detailed the Department of 
the Interior's responsibility to maintain a 
government-to-government relationship to fulfill its 
legal obligations to identify, protect, and conserve 
the land, cultural, and economic resources of 
Federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal 
members. Consideration must be given whenever 
land use plans, activities or actions affect tribal trust 
resources, trust assets, or tribal health and safety. 
In addition, Executive Order 12898 underscores the 
BLM's responsibility to consider whether its 
program policies and activities have a 
disproportionally high and adverse effect on the 
health or environment of minority and low-income 
populations (Rivers-Council 1995). 



3-82 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Clark County Desert Conservation Plan 

In July 1995, Clark County entered into a long-term 
agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
and other Federal agencies (including BLM), as 
well as State and municipal agencies, for a Desert 
Tortoise Habitat Conservation Plan. This plan is 
officially known as the Clark County Desert 
Conservation Plan. The plan's purpose is to 
establish rules, policies, and procedures that permit 
continued development in Clark County, while 
providing extensive measures to minimize and 
mitigate impacts that might result from incidental 
taking of desert tortoise. 

The Habitat Conservation Plan imposes a $550 per 
acre mitigation fee on all land disturbed within 
Clark County below 5,000 feet in elevation, which 
is subject to permitting requirements of Clark 
County and the cooperating municipalities. These 
fees provide a fund for mitigation of impacts on 
desert tortoise habitat. The Habitat Conservation 
Plan further provides for Clark County to negotiate 
with individuals for purchase and exchange of 
grazing privileges to offset developed land and to 
achieve conservation objectives. 



Affected Sectors 

Livestock Grazing 

Livestock-oriented agriculture and mining are the 
major basic industries to be affected by 
management proposals. Future livestock grazing 
and mining activities will be affected by decisions 
providing constraints and prescriptions to protect 
wildlife, principally in desert tortoise habitats 
identified in the BLM's proposed Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern, which closely coincide 
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's designated 
critical habitat for desert tortoise. Any grazing or 
mining activities proposed within desert tortoise 
habitat areas will require Section 7 consultation. 

Land disposal proposals and rights-of-way corridors, 
which may also be constrained by the proposed 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, will be 
subject to Section 7 consultation. There is need to 
mediate the conflict between the demand for 
inexpensive and accessible sources of sand and 
gravel for the construction industry, and the 
encroachment on those sources by the rapidly 



expanding development of housing and light 
industry within the Las Vegas Valley. 

Agriculture 

Agricultural production in the planning area consists 
of cattle, sheep, alfalfa, hay, and cotton. Livestock 
predominates. Cash receipts from marketings in 
1995 totaled $20.1 million in Clark County, 
including $18.1 million from livestock and livestock 
products and the remainder from crops. Total farm 
labor and proprietors income for Clark County is 
estimated at $3.2 million. Nye County cash receipts 
from agriculture totaled $13.2 million in 1995, with 
the majority ($9.1 million) from livestock and 
livestock products and the remainder from crops. 

Regionally, however, agricultural production in 
Clark and Nye counties is not considered 
significant. Agriculture accounts for less than one- 
tenth of one percent of total income and 
employment in Clark County, and 0.9 percent of 
income and 1.9 percent of employment in Nye 
County. Within the planning area, agriculture 
contributes little indirect income to either Clark or 
Nye counties because most, if not all, farm and 
ranch inputs are purchased outside the counties, in 
St. George, Utah, or Bishop, California. 

Though of little or no economic significance, the 
viability and success of the livestock grazing 
industry remains linked to public lands because 
livestock operators continue to hold a strong 
commitment to their traditions and lifestyle. In 
1990, livestock used an average of 22,600 animal 
unit months in the planning area. In the last five 
years, however, the average dropped by more than 
half to 10,037 animal unit months with only 13 
permittees remaining in active grazing use on public 
lands. This decrease is attributed to poor forage 
production on ephemeral range, listing of the Desert 
Tortoise, and transactions associated with the Clark 
County Habitat Conservation Plan. Although 
typical ranch budgets are difficult to determine for 
various reasons (including the area's diversity, 
differences in individual operations, forage seasons, 
and high dependence on ephemeral range), the net 
ranch income is estimated at $4.77 per animal unit 
month. 

Historically, the economic benefits that area 
ranchers received from using public range exceeded 
assessed fees. This market imbalance or "consumer 
surplus" inferred that ranchers were willing to pay 



3-83 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



extra for the opportunity to use public lands, 
thereby causing grazing permits to acquire a market 
value (Vale 1979, Neilson and Workman 1971). 
The permits can either be bought or sold in the 
market place, or used as collateral for loans 
(Corbett 1978). Although not officially recognized 
as real property, BLM permits have nonetheless 
become an integral element in the capital and credit 
structure of area ranchers. Currently, the market 
value of Federal animal unit months ranges from 
$25 to $60 per animal unit month. Recent 
appraisals by Pa'cific Agribusiness Service for the 
Clark County Habitat Conservation Plan estimated 
the values for several of these operations at about 
$45 per animal unit month. Assuming this value, 
BLM grazing licenses (which have averaged 10,037 
animal unit months in the affected area) contribute 
close to half a million dollars ($451,665) to the 
wealth of area ranchers. 

Mining 

Mining is an important industry in the Nye County 
economy, providing the county's third largest source 
of employment and its second most important 
source of income. In 1995, mining in Nye County 
provided 1,376 jobs (almost 13 percent of the 
county's total), which generated total earnings of 
$64 million (almost 18 percent of all earnings in the 
county). 

In Clark County, mining provided 1,189 jobs (0.2 
percent of county employment) and produced $25.2 
million in earnings (0.2 percent of total county 
income). 

The BLM geologists estimate that 95 percent of the 
mining activity from BLM-administered lands in the 
two counties occurs in that portion on Nye County 
outside of the Las Vegas District and that mining 
production and income comes primarily from 
patented mining claims. There has been very low 
production from BLM-administered lands in Clark 
County in the last 30 years, except for sand, gravel, 
and silt. Public lands in the resource area continue 
to provide important and economic material sources 
for sand, gravel, and silt, in support of the 
construction industry. However, due to the very 
growth and development they have supported, the 
sand and gravel operations are conflicting both 
economically and environmentally with air quality 
and aesthetics. 



The encroachment of new construction (including 
residential developments) on material site locations 
necessitates locating alternative and economic 
sources for sand, gravel, and silt. An important 
cost consideration in doing so is haul costs. There 
will be a continuing need by the construction 
industry for inexpensive and accessible sources of 
sand and gravel close to housing and business 
facility development opportunities. 

Lands 

Potential changes in the amount of public compared 
to private lands could affect both the tax base and 
BLM payments to the counties in lieu of property 
taxes. 

Release of BLM-administered land for disposal by 
sale, exchange, or lease, and any resulting 
development will put further demands on existing 
public infrastructure. Such disposals will have a 
cumulative impact on rural ecosystems, water 
availability, and air quality in relation to housing, 
community, and industrial development 
opportunities. Land use planning offices of Clark 
and Nye counties, including unincorporated cities 
and utility companies, will be tasked as always to 
provide appropriate infrastructure. 

Rights-of-Wav Corridors 

Designation of additional corridors will enable more 
efficient planning of future energy, communication, 
and transportation facilities. A lack of designated 
corridors sustains high planning costs to utility 
companies and results in longer processing time for 
right-of-way applications. Such additional costs 
translate into higher costs to the consumer. 

Recreation 

Expenditures for recreation in the planning area 
contribute to the regional economy through the 
purchase of lodging, services, equipment, fuel, and 
food. Public land resources associated with 
recreation and affected by this plan include wildlife, 
wild horses and burros, wilderness, lands, and 
riparian areas. 

Formal off-highway vehicle events on public lands 
provide substantial economic benefits to the local 
economy. These activities include the Nissan 400, 
Nevada 500, and Gold Coast 300, among others. 
Additional events, such as motorcycle racing and 



3-84 



■™™"'"' a ™ 1 — ™"~™"™™TT 



>.:_.: : : .:. : 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Radio Controlled Aircraft activities, generate further 
expenditures and income. The recreation staff of 
BLM's Las Vegas Field Office, in consultation with 
the Off-Road Vehicle Association and other 
recreational organizations, estimates that the 
associated income produced by these various 
recreation events is between $76.6 and $114.9 
million per year. 

Section 7 Consultation Costs 

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
requires Federal agencies to consult with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service on actions that may 
jeopardize a threatened or endangered species, or 
destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. 

Section 7 directs agencies to submit to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service a complete description of 
any proposed action and their anticipated effects 
(biological assessment). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service then has up to 135 days (with an additional 
60-day extension, when necessary) to review the 
proposal and prepare a biological opinion, which 
may enable the project to go forward and, in some 
cases, provide for incidental take of the subject 
species, while providing certain conditions of 
operation, or modification of plans, or means to 
mitigate adverse effects. 

Private individuals, companies, or corporations are 
frequently the proponents of projects or proposals to 
utilize the public lands for such uses as minerals 
developments, land exchanges or transfers, and 
utility corridors. The Federal agency is responsible 
for initiating the proposed action to prepare the 
description of the action and the anticipated effects 
(the biological assessment). However, as is the 
case for the Bureau of Land Management, the 
Federal agency oftentimes lacks sufficient staff or 
funding to process a private party request in a 
sufficiently timely manner to meet needs of the 
project proponent. In such cases, the project 
proponent may prepare the biological assessment 
under BLM's direction to facilitate initiation of the 
required consultation and expedite scheduling. 

These documents may be quite simple or very 
complex, depending upon the nature and extent of 
the proposed public land use and the species 
involved. Private individuals sometimes hire a 
consultant or consult an attorney to guide them 
through the process. Large companies or 
corporations often employ an Environmental 



Coordinator or a Project Manager on a permanent 
full-time basis for just these types of activities. If 
the proposed project is quite extensive, a third party 
Environmental Consulting firm may be employed to 
undertake the necessary studies and documentation. 

The costs of Section 7 consultation may be quite 
variable due to the various cost factors, including 
the nature of the project, biological requirements of 
the species, extent of analytical detail required, and 
time and expertise employed in preparing the 
analysis and documentation. Additional costs could 
be incurred for any additional mitigation measures 
required to ameliorate potential effects on the 
species or for any delays imposed on initiating 
project development. 

At the present time, Section 7 consultation is 
required throughout the area covered by this Plan. 
The establishment of a framework for land-use 
proposals and management decisions, which is the 
purpose of the Plan, will provide sufficient 
guidelines to effectively focus potential land-use 
proposals and ameliorate or reduce Section 7 
consultation and mitigation costs. 

Environmental Justice 

Executive Order 122898, Federal Actions to 
Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations, requires 
that Federal agencies identify and address, as 
appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse 
human health or environmental effects that impact 
low-income and minority populations as a result of 
Federal programs, policies, or activities. 
Demographic analysis is the first step in this 
determination. Such analysis includes defining the 
region of influence, census block groups, low- 
income populations, minority communities, and the 
thresholds for calculating a low-income or minority 
community census block group (USDOE 1996: 4- 
0223). Minority communities are identified by the 
four racial classifications recognized by the U.S. 
Bureau of the Census (White; Black; American 
Indian, Eskimo or Aleut; and Asian or Pacific 
Islander). Hispanic is considered to be an origin, 
rather than a racial classification by the U.S. Bureau 
of the Census. 

The Plan addresses management action for public 
lands in Clark and Nye counties, the two counties 
comprising the region of influence for this Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement. Census block 



3-85 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 3-30. Clark and Nye Counties, 1995 Earnings by Major Industries. 



il 



Agriculture 



1ARMNGS BY MAJOR INDUSTRY ($1,000) 
XARK CO. PERCENT NYE COUF 

: W- 3,254; '■;';' 0.0 ;;' 3 



: Construction 



1,885,528. 



64,036 



Retai 



:3.&: 



;;:;2,3:68: 
18,539 



-0 o 



6;2 



Government 
TOTAL: ■: 



8,688.453 

2,176,439 

18,093,336 



iy/,4vz 

46,503 

363,924 



Earnings include wages and salaries, other labor income, and proprietor income. Earning 
the principle component of total-: income which is further comprised of dividends, interest 
transfer payments, less personal contributions for social insurance. 

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Eeonoi 
Information System, August 1997) : 



3-86 



Chapter 3 - Affected Environment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



groups are defined as clusters of blocks within the 
same census tract. The census block groups do not 
cross county or census tract boundaries and 
generally are comprised of between 250 and 550 
housing units (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1993; 
USDOE 1996: 4-223). For analytic purposes, low- 
income populations are defined as individuals living 
within a census block group whose income is below 
the poverty level. Households are classified as being 
below the poverty level if the total family income or 
unrelated individual income is less than the poverty 
threshold specified for the applicable family size 



(Ibid). As an example, the weighted average 
threshold for a 4-person family was $12,674 for the 
1990 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1994). 
Percentages of low-income and minority 
communities can be calculated within each census 
block group, using thresholds developed to avoid 
biasing the designation of poverty areas. 

No low-income or minority populations have been 
identified to experience disproportionately high and 
adverse human health or environmental effects as a 
result of this Plan. 



Table 3-31. Clark and Nye Counties, 1995 Employment by Major Industries. 



EMPLOYMENT BY MAJOR INDUSTRY 



Agricultural Services 



1.0 



?OQ 



0.8 





:: Mining: : : 


1.189 


0.2 


1,376 


: - : : 12,7: :■■ 






: Construction 


52,437 


8.6 : :;; 


493 


4.6 i 






Manufacturing 


17,832 


::; 2.9 


218 


2.0 




:-:- : . ': 


: Transportation & 












; 


Public Utilities 


28,614 : : 


■ 4.7 : 


2.\y7' ' 


2.5 




&:&■*■: 














-: : :-x ; :":-; : ; 
















Wholesale Trade 


18,743 


3.1: 


91 


: \}.y 








96,320 


15.8 


1,086 


\\XjSj 




111 


Jrinance, insurance oc 
















43 200 


7.1 


435 


4.0 




•;:::■:£:!: 


Services 


282 746 


46.4 


5,102: 


47 1 






Government 


62 305 


10.2 


1,456 


13.5 






TOTAL 


609,684 


100.0 


10,825 


100,0 




; :%i:i 


(Soutce; U.S . Department 


of Commerce, Bure 


au of Economic Ana 


ysis £\.c2ion3i fc-Gon 


amic 






Information System, Augu 


st i997# : ;; ■;:; 




^^^^^^^^^■■■■i 




■■■ 



3-87 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 



Introduction 

This chapter is organized into four sections. The first 
part assesses the anticipated physical, biological, 
social, and economic consequences of implementing 
the Proposed Resource Management Plan/Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, hereafter known as 
The Plan, as described in Chapter 2. The second 
part analyzes the cumulative effects from The Plan 
implementation on both BLM, other public, and 
private lands. Certain impacts are considered 
unavoidable and are discussed by resource in the third 
part. The final part addresses the irreversible and 
irretrievable commitment of specific resources, and 
short-term uses and long-term productivity. The 
guidelines and assumptions for analysis are discussed 
below. 



Analysis Guidelines 

The baseline for comparing impacts is the No Action 
Alternative, which represents a continuation of the 
existing management situation. Impacts expected to 
occur by 2018 that are identified for The Plan are 
compared to this baseline. The analysis of 
environmental consequences includes identification 
and discussion of long-term, short-term, direct, 
indirect, and cumulative impacts. Unavoidable, 
irreversible, and irretrievable impacts, as well as the 
relationship between short-term uses and long-term 
productivity, are identified at the end of this chapter. 



Assumptions for Analysis 

An interdisciplinary approach was used to analyze the 
environmental consequences. The following general 
assumptions were applied: 

• Funding and staffing will be adequate to fully 
implement all management actions associated with 
each alternative. 

• Any Resource Management Plan recommendations 
requiring authorization beyond the level of the 
Division Chief , District Manager, or State 
Director will be accepted and implemented. For 
example, Resource Management Plan 



recommendations for establishing new withdrawals 
in excess of 5,000 acres will be favorably acted 
upon by the Secretary of the Interior and 
Congressional concurrence will be obtained. 

The effective life of The Plan is anticipated to be 
20 years. 

Short-term impacts are those that would occur 
within five years of implementation of any given 
management action. Long-term impacts are those 
that would occur between 5 and 20 years or longer 
after implementation of an action. 

Impacts are considered to be direct, unless 
otherwise indicated. 

In some cases, minor impacts are presented to 
better illustrate the scope and effect of a 
management action. 

Most public lands identified as available for 
disposal would not go into private ownership. 
Those lands encumbered by other Federal actions, 
mining claims, or economic constraints could 
remain in Federal ownership. 

Any Resource Management Plan decisions that 
would affect a Wilderness Study Area and result in 
non-compliance with the Interim Management 
Policy and Guidelines for Lands Under Wilderness 
Review would not be implemented unless or until 
Congress releases any Wilderness Study Areas 
from further consideration for designation as 
wilderness. 

Site-specific reviews would be conducted for: 
specific livestock range improvement projects; wild 
horse and burro habitat enhancement projects; 
wildlife habitat enhancement projects; recreation 
facility construction projects; off-road vehicle 
events not in conformance with stipulations and 
limitations included herein and in Appendix J; 
issuance of rights-of-way and other land use 
authorizations and leases; disposal of specific 
public lands; plans of operation for 43 CFR 3802 
and 3809 actions; applications for permit to drill 
(APD); and mine plans for sand and gravel 
extraction. These reviews will generally result in 
preparation of administrative determinations, 



4-1 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



categorical exclusions, environmental assessments 
(EAs), or environmental impact statements (EISs). 

Acreage figures and other numbers used in this 
analysis are approximate projections for 
comparison and analytic purposes only. Readers 
should not infer that they reflect exact 
measurements or precise calculations. 

The discussion of impacts is based on the best 
available data. Knowledge of the planning area 
and professional judgement, based on observation 
and analysis of conditions and responses in similar 
areas, were used to infer environmental impacts 
where data is limited. 

The definition of impacts to cultural resources has 
a conceptual range from maximum to minimum 
disturbance. The maximum concept states that the 
qualities that give a site its eligibility potential 
must be destroyed to constitute an impact. Even 
in such a case, adverse impacts can be mitigated 
through consultation under Section 106. For 
example, casual collection of a few artifacts on the 
surface within an aboriginally used shelter that 
possesses a meter of stratigraphic deposition would 
not affect the eligibility potential for yielding 
important data that can add to the knowledge of 
regional prehistory. If the shelter would be 
destroyed through permitting a Federal action, then 
a data recovery plan would mitigate those adverse 
affects. 

The minimal point of view states that any change 
to a cultural resource, no matter how seemingly 
small, as a consequence of human actions 
constitutes an affect. For instance, when an 
archeological property is discovered by people, a 
cycle of impacts is initiated. These impacts may 
simply consist of disturbing spiritual or cultural 
values considered by Native Americans or other 
interested parties as belonging to the objects, 
features, or the surrounding area. The impact may 
also include removing artifacts and in so doing 
dismembering the cultural property. Conducting a 
data recovery of the artifacts, charcoal samples, 
and biological materials at the shelter site proposed 
for destruction would not mitigate the adverse 
affects, but merely attempt to reduce the degree of 
impact. Section 106 consultation provides 
professional guidance in salvaging a sample of 
physical items, but does not erase the fact that the 
site has been destroyed. 



The assessment of impacts for cultural resources in 
this plan assumes a minimal concept of 
disturbance. 

A cycle of impacts begins after a site is changed 
by removal or disturbance as a consequence of the 
evaluation or disposal phase involved in processing 
a Federal action. The only situation where impacts 
are considered positive are those that provide 
direct benefits through preservation and 
stabilization. All other changes are considered to 
be negative effects or impacts. Significant impacts 
are those where an action or a group of similar 
actions resulting from an environmental policy, 
such as processing and approving all Plans of 
Operations within Las Vegas BLM District for the 
life of the plan, affecting a relatively large number 
of eligible cultural resource properties. This 
assessment was determined through the 
professional judgement of the cultural resource 
manager. 



Assessment of the Physical, 
Biological, Social and Economic 
Consequences 

The anticipated physical, biological, social, and 
economic consequences of implementing The Plan are 
described for individual resources. The discussion of 
the environmental consequences is in proportion to the 
effect of the anticipated impacts. When a 
determination indicated that an in-depth analysis of a 
resource or resource use was unnecessary, that 
resource was not addressed. For example, no impacts 
in the Forestry program were determined to be 
significant. Mitigation measures designed to avoid or 
reduce the degree of anticipated impacts are 
incorporated, where appropriate, into management 
directions in the proposed action. A good example is, 
keep permitted events 0.25 mile away from artificial 
and natural water sources. 



Air Resource Management 

The air resource would be impacted by improving 
watershed conditions. The improvement of 
approximately 96,994 acres of soil with a critical 
erosion condition and 37,670 acres with a moderate 
erosion condition and high erosion susceptibility 
would reduce the ability of wind to move soil and 
produce airborne particulates. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



From Vegetation Management 
Actions to maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on 3,331,895 acres to a Desired Plant 
Community or to Potential Natural Community would 
improve protective ground cover and soil holding 
capability. Soil erosion resulting in windblown 
particulates would be reduced. 

From Lands Management 
Air resources within the Las Vegas Valley Non- 
Attainment Area have been degraded by pollutant 
levels, primarily particulates (PM 10 ) and carbon 
monoxide (CO), which are in excess of National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Air 
quality in the remainder of the planning area is 
acceptable, meaning that pollutant levels are less than 
or equal to established standards on a continuous 
basis. 

Within the Las Vegas Valley, approximately 25,540 
acres would be disposed over the next 20 years to 
provide for orderly expansion, development, and 
public services. Land disposals would indirectly 
impact the air resource by providing land that may be 
developed resulting from an increased growth rate 
within the valley. Pollutant sources and emissions are 
expected to increase along with the increased rate of 
population growth. An estimated increase of 243 tons 
per year in airborne PM 10 (particles less than 10 
microns in size) particulate emissions would result 
from subsequent development of disposed lands. 
Because it is unlikely that all disposed lands will be 
developed, the actual increase in PM 10 would be 
somewhat less than that indicated. The production 
figure is based on an annual disposal rate of 1,277 
acres over the life of the Resource Management Plan 
(20 years) and an average PM 10 production figure of 
0.19 tons per acre per year (calculated from current 
acres of development and PM 10 emissions in the 
valley). After construction activities on a given site 
are completed, PM 10 resulting from these activities 
will generally diminish. PM 10 emissions resulting 
from sources other than construction activities would 
continue to increase proportionately with continued 
land development. 

Carbon monoxide levels would be expected to rise, 
along with increases in the population and the number 
of vehicles (the two primary sources of carbon 
monoxide in the valley). Based on the annual 
disposal acreage and an average carbon monoxide 
production of 1 .37 tons per acre per year (calculated 
the same as PM 10 ) from all sources, the expected 



increase of carbon monoxide would be 1,750 tons per 
year. 

Increases would also be expected in volatile organic 
compounds (VOC), oxides of nitrogen (NO x ) and 
sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ). Based on an average production 
of 0.29 tons/acre/year of VOC, 0.29 tons/acre/year of 
NO x and 0.008 tons/acre/year of S0 2 , the estimated 
increase would be 370, 370, and 10.2 tons/year, 
respectively. The Las Vegas BLM Field Office 
Hazardous Materials Incident Contingency Plan will 
be followed in the event of a hazardous materials 
incident where a toxic air plume is emitted. This 
includes appropriate coordination with the Local 
Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). 

Although an increase in visibility impairing pollutants 
would be expected, the actual impact on visibility is 
not known. Currently, there is no definitive 
information indicating that pollutants generated in the 
Las Vegas Valley are impacting downwind Class I 
receptors such as the Grand Canyon. A description of 
Federal Class I areas can be found in Chapter 3 under 
Air Resource Management. 

From Recreation Management 
Air resource management would be enhanced by 
limiting future off-road vehicle activity to existing 
roads and trails within 99.9% of the planning area. 
Under this plan, future competitive off-road activities 
are restricted to existing courses so the acres of 
disturbance is not expected to increase beyond the 
existing 3,325 acres of disturbance inventoried 
(courses, pit/staging areas, roads/trails and washes). 
Competitive off -road vehicle activity has the potential 
to produce airborne particulate matter (PM 10 ), 
especially if events are conducted in areas where soils 
are susceptible to erosion. It is unknown how much 
of the existing 3,325 acres of disturbance is actually 
located within areas containing susceptible soils. 

Continued surface disturbance would leave soils 
vulnerable to wind erosion, resulting in wind-blown 
dust production in these areas. With the exception of 
the Nellis Sand dunes Open Use Area, competitive 
off -road events would no longer be allowed within the 
Las Vegas Valley Non-Attainment Area, where 
windblown dust is a concern and levels of PM 10 
already exceed National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQS). 

Under this plan, the only events allowed within the 
Las Vegas Valley are those that occur at Nellis Dunes 
located at the northeast, downwind, boundary of the 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FE1S - May 1998 



Non-Attainment Area. Dust generated from off-road 
vehicle activities at this location is not expected to 
impact the valley. Events held upwind of the valley 
would potentially contribute to short-term degradation 
of Las Vegas Valley's air quality if the wind blew 
dust into the valley. Compliance with local regulatory 
agencies permitting requirements would help minimize 
impacts to the air resource and ensure conformity with 
the State Implementation for PM 10 and CO. 

From Wilderness Management 
Wilderness designation would eliminate the potential 
for surface disturbance on lands susceptible to 
erosion. If the acreage recommended for wilderness 
designation is approved by Congress, 7,424 acres in 
critical erosion condition would be protected under the 
restrictions of a Wilderness Area. The remaining 
Wilderness Study Areas acres with a critical erosion 
condition (24,754 acres) and all of the areas 
containing soil highly susceptible to erosion would be 
protected from Off -Road vehicle impact due to the 
limits on vehicles use to existing/designated roads. 
Since no roads exist in Wilderness Study Areas 
currently, no new Off -Road vehicle use would be 
possible. 

From Minerals Management 

Mineral exploration has the potential to produce short- 
term impacts to the air resource through temporary 
generation of airborne particulates (PM 10 ). Impacts 
resulting from PM 10 generated from mineral 
development (approximately 1,461 acres currently 
disturbed) would be generally long-term in nature 
lasting through the life of the various mineral 
operations. This is particularly true within areas with 
highly (17,499 acres) and moderately (126,040 acres) 
susceptible soils, and the Las Vegas Valley Non- 
Attainment Area. 

Within the Las Vegas Valley, the primary mineral 
activity is sand and gravel operations. Based on 
information provided by the Clark County Health 
District, sand and gravel operations are responsible for 
the production of approximately 743 tons of PM 10 
annually. During the life of the Resource 
Management Plan, it is estimated that there would be 
no appreciable change from what currently exists in 
the acreage that would be in sand and gravel 
production at any given time. Under this plan, the 
only area having sand and gravel operations would be 
the Salt Lake Community Pit located in the northeast 
and downwind portion of the Non-Attainment Area. 
This limitation should aid in reducing the impact of 



PM 10 emissions on the Non-Attainment Area from this 
source category. 

From Fire Management 

Wildfire suppression efforts would result in reduced 
particulate (PM 10 ) production and visibility 
impairment from smoke and windblown dust. This is 
especially of benefit within and upwind from the Las 
Vegas Valley Non-attainment Area, which currently 
has PM 10 levels in excess of National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards. Wildfire suppression efforts 
would potentially result in a short-term increase in 
windblown dust due to surface disturbance by fire 
fighting equipment and operations. However, 
successful suppression efforts would minimize the 
number of acres impacted as a result of vegetative 
cover loss. 

Following fire suppression, the successful 
implementation of the Las Vegas District Normal Fire 
Rehabilitation Plan would minimize the period during 
which soils would be vulnerable to increased wind 
erosion and windblown dust due to reduced vegetative 
cover. See the Soil Resource Management (from Fire 
Management) section of this Chapter for a description 
of the Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan. 

Use of prescribed burns as a vegetative manipulation 
tool could result in an increase in airborne particulate 
matter (smoke and dust). As with wildfires, given 
proper meteorological conditions, prescribed burns 
could impact the Las Vegas Valley Non-Attainment 
Area if they occur within or upwind of the valley. 
Although particulate emissions would be expected to 
increase and visibility decrease, this impact would be 
short-term in duration. Currently, there is no data 
available indicating PM 10 contributions from fires 
occurring on vacant land. Proper timing (best 
meteorological conditions) and compliance with local 
regulatory agencies permitting requirements would 
help to minimize impacts to the air resource resulting 
from prescribed burns. 



From Hazardous Materials 

The air resource would be impacted from an incident 
where a toxic air plume is emitted. In the event a 
toxic air plume does pollute the air resource, proposed 
actions taken would minimize the impact and ensure 
that air quality is maintained or restored to protective 
levels as prescribed under regulatory requirements. 



4-4 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Soils Resource Management 

From Riparian Management 

A reduction in soil loss would be expected with the 
improvement of spring-associated riparian areas and 
those associated with perennial streams to proper 
functioning condition (PFC). The reduction would 
result from better vegetative cover on riparian 
meadows and on streambanks. 

From Vegetation Management 
Actions to maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on 3,331,895 acres to a Desired Plant 
Community or to Potential Natural Community would 
improve protective ground cover and soil holding 
capability. Soil erosion and loss would be minimized 
through the dissipation of energy associated with 
stormwater runoff. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
The proposed plan designates 23 Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern (approximately 1,005,031 
acres) in which livestock grazing, wild horse and 
burro use, and competitive off -road vehicle use would 
not be allowed and mineral activities would be 
intensively managed. These restrictions would 
improve protective ground cover and soil holding 
capability. Soil erosion and loss would be minimized 
through the dissipation of energy associated with 
stormwater runoff. See the specific discussions above 
for estimated soil losses attributable to livestock 
grazing, wild horse and burro use, off-road vehicle 
use, and mineral activities. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Designation of 743,209 acres as Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern for recovery of the desert 
tortoise would place restrictions on livestock grazing, 
wild horse and burro use, off -road vehicle use, and 
mineral activities. Within the boundaries of the Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern, 27,735 acres of 
soil that are highly susceptible and 420,195 acres of 
soil that are moderately susceptible to erosion would 
be protected from the previously referenced soil- 
disturbing activities and resultant potential soil loss. 
See the specific discussions below for estimated soil 
losses attributable to livestock grazing, wild horse and 
burro use, off-road vehicle use, and mineral activities. 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
Livestock grazing impacts the soil resource primarily 
through reduction of vegetative and litter cover that 
protects the soil from erosional processes and, to 
some degree, soil compaction that channels and 



concentrates storm water runoff. There are 22,728 
acres of soil highly susceptible and 288,229 acres of 
soil moderately susceptible to erosion within those 
allotments remaining open to livestock grazing (Table 
3-4). Of this, there are only 7,268 acres of soil 
highly susceptible and 61,969 acres of soil moderately 
susceptible to erosion within the areas actually utilized 
by livestock. Although within the estimated boundary 
of cattle utilization, all this acreage is not actually 
visited by livestock and is therefore not directly 
impacted through their activity. The actual extent of 
disturbance is not known at this time; therefore, the 
soil loss figures presented below should be considered 
as a worst case. Although based on a worst case, 
soil losses are minimal when compared to that 
occurring naturally. 

Under this plan, 1 1 of the 53 allotments within the 
planning area would be open to all livestock grazing. 
Soil resources in allotments closed to grazing would 
improve through preservation of vegetative cover and 
resultant decrease in erosion and soil loss. Table 4-1 
lists the active allotments remaining open with 
estimated potential soil loss (tons/year), both natural 
and that expected as a result of continued livestock 
grazing. Table 3-6 presents soil loss estimates from 
all allotments within the planning area. An 
explanation of soil loss calculations can be found in 
Chapter 3. 

The estimated potential soil loss of 224 tons per year 
(4480 tons over 20 years) from those allotments 
remaining open is less than any other alternative. The 
savings results in 966 tons per year (19,320 tons over 
20 years), which is less soil loss than if all 53 
allotments remained open. 

From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
Wild horse and burro grazing, as with livestock 
grazing, impacts the soil resource primarily through 
the reduction of vegetative and litter cover that 
protects the soil from erosional processes and, to 
some degree, soil compaction that channels and 
concentrates storm water runoff. There are 138,646 
acres of soil moderately susceptible to erosion (Table 
3-4) within the existing Herd Management Areas. Of 
this, there are approximately 26,774 acres of soil 
moderately susceptible to erosion within the areas 
actually utilized by wild horses and burros. Although 
within the estimated boundary of utilization, all of this 
soil is not actually visited by horses and burros and is 
therefore not directly impacted through disturbance 
from their presence. The actual extent of disturbance 
is not known at this time; therefore, the soil loss 



4-5 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-1. Soil Losses Within Grazing 
Allotments. 



/5,/46 

3,238 



c= 



figures presented below should be considered as a 
worst case. Although based on a worst case, the soil 
losses are minimal when compared to that which 
occurs naturally. 

Under this plan, three of the six Herd Management 
Areas within the planning area would have an 
Appropriate Management Level of established. Soil 
resources within the Herd Management Areas 
managed at Appropriate Management Level would 
improve through the preservation of vegetative cover 
and resultant decrease in erosion and soil loss. Table 
4-2 lists the remaining active Herd Management 
Areas, including the natural and estimated potential 
soil losses (tons/year) occurring at present from horses 
and burro. Also included is the expected soil loss that 
will occur at the Appropriate Management Level. 
Table 3-6 presents soil loss estimates from all the 
Herd Management Areas within the planning area. 
An explanation of soil loss calculations can be found 
in Chapter 3. 

The expected estimated soil loss of ton per year 
attributable to horses and burro use at the Appropriate 
Management Level under this plan would result in a 
reduction of 1 13 tons per year (2,260 tons over 20 
years) if animal numbers remained at current levels. 

From Recreation Management 

Since competitive off-road vehicle activity would only 
occur in previously disturbed areas, the soil resource 
is expected to benefit through the preservation of 



areas presently undisturbed. Soil losses resulting from 
continued use of previously disturbed areas are 
expected to be approximately 2,650 tons per year, for 
a total soil loss over the life of the Resource 
Management Plan (20 years) of 53,000 tons. 

Actual impact to the soil resource from casual off- 
road vehicle use is not known. However, when 
considering the increasing population in southern 
Nevada, that activity would proportionately increase. 
Under this plan, limiting off-road vehicle activity to 
existing roads and trails would benefit the soil 
resource through the prevention of new disturbance 
and potential soil loss. 

Soil surface disturbance due to off-road vehicle 
activity, on existing roads/trails and off-road, would 
leave soils vulnerable to both water and wind erosion. 
Off-road vehicle use, both competitive and casual, 
has potential to impact the soil resource, particularly 
if the activity occurs within areas with highly 
susceptible soils. It is unknown at this time how 
much of the existing 3,325 acres of disturbance is 
actually located within areas containing susceptible 
soils. The actual extent of disturbance, however, will 
be limited because use will be restricted to existing 
courses, pit/staging areas, roads/trails and washes 
(approximately 3,325 acres). 

From Wilderness Management 
Wilderness designation would eliminate the potential 
for surface disturbance on lands susceptible to 
erosion. If the acreage recommended for wilderness 
designation is approved by Congress, 7,424 acres in 
critical erosion condition would be protected under the 
restrictions of a Wilderness Area. The remaining 
Wilderness Study Area acres with a critical erosion 
condition (24,754 acres) and all of the areas 
containing soil highly susceptible to erosion would be 
protected from off-road vehicle impact due to the 
limits on vehicles use to existing/designated roads. 
Since no roads exist in Wilderness Study Areas 
currently, no new off-road vehicle use would be 
possible. 

From Minerals Management 

Impacts to the soil resource from mineral exploration 
and development are both short term and long term in 
nature. With proper mitigation and reclamation, 
mineral exploration activities would not impact the 
soils in the short term. Mineral development would 
be a long-term impact to soils if mitigation measures 
and reclamation are unsuccessful. The arid vegetation 
communities are not readily amenable to standard 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-2. Soil Losses Within Herd 
Management Areas. 



(at 



Gold Butte 
Johnnie 
Muddy Mi 



113(0) 



rehabilitation efforts as a result of the low 
precipitation in the planning area. Even after 
abandonment of mineral developments, accelerated 
soil erosion may continue. 

Fluid mineral activities could create impacts, 
primarily associated with road travel and drill pad 
construction. Because little activity of this type 
occurs within the Las Vegas BLM District, no 
increases are anticipated. Locatable minerals, mineral 
material sales, and non-energy leasable activities 
could result in soil erosion impacts. Soil disturbance 
could result from both mineral exploration and 
development activities, including access and haul road 
construction, stockpiling of topsoil, and pit 
construction. Areas with soils susceptible to erosion 
would be particularly vulnerable. Under this plan, 
41,649 acres of soil highly susceptible and 511,796 
acres of soil moderately susceptible to erosion would 
be open to mineral activity. Currently, there are 
approximately 1,461 acres of disturbance associated 
with mineral activities. This is not expected to 
increase and may actually decrease somewhat. 
Considering the disturbed acreage, the estimated soil 
loss expected would be 1,164 tons per year, for a total 
of 23,280 tons over the life of the Resource 
Management Plan (20 years). 

From Hazardous Materials Manasement 
The soil resource would be impacted through 
hazardous materials entering the environment and 
potentially contaminating soils, thereby reducing soil 
productivity. In the event these materials do 
contaminate the soil resource, the soil would likely be 
removed for treatment and/or disposal. This would 
result in a loss of productivity of the impacted soil, 
but would protect nearby soils from damage. 



From Fire Manasement 

Wildfire suppression efforts would potentially result in 
a short-term increase in erosion and soil loss due to 
surface disturbance by fire fighting equipment and 
operations. However, successful suppression efforts 
would minimize the number of acres impacted as a 
result of vegetative cover loss. Following fire 
suppression, the successful implementation of the Las 
Vegas BLM District Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan 
would minimize the period during that soils would be 
exposed to increased wind and water erosion. The 
period would be reduced by re-establishing a 
vegetative cover and implementing other erosion 
prevention measures immediately following a fire. 

The purpose of the Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan is 
to expedite the emergency fire rehabilitation process 
for the completion of emergency land treatments, on 
public land, that are consistent with the urgent nature 
of fire rehabilitation. The objective of emergency fire 
rehabilitation is to implement a combination of 
planned actions in a time frame necessary to reduce 
watershed degradation as a result of wildfires. The 
outcome of these actions will be to minimize: 

• Damage to property, on and off site, from 
increased runoff and sediment yields. 

• Loss of water control and deterioration of water 
quality. 

• Loss of watershed cover (vegetation). 

• Loss of soil and on-site productivity. 

• Invasion of burned areas by highly flammable 
plants and noxious weeds. 

• Loss of wildlife habitat. 

The use of prescribed burns as a vegetative 
manipulation tool could result in a short-term increase 
in wind and water erosion. In the long-term, the 
improved vegetative cover gained would be expected 
to reduce the potential for erosion. 



Water Resources 

From Soil Resource Manasement 
Erosion, soil loss ,and resultant sediment production 
would be expected to decrease as a result of a 
decrease in surface-disturbing activities. There 
would be soil losses as a result of actions imposed 
under this plan to livestock grazing, wild horse and 
burro use, off -road vehicle use, and mineral 
exploration and development . These activities are 
expected to result in approximately 80,760 tons of soil 
loss over the 20-year life of the Resource 
Management Plan. This is 21,580 tons less than that 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



estimated under current management (102,340 tons). 
Regardless of what actions occur on lands other than 
public, actions taken under this plan would result in a 
net improvement to the soil resource and resultant 
water quality. 

From Riparian Management 

Riparian areas would be managed to improve where 
practical or to maintain these areas in proper 
functioning condition (PFC). Proper functioning 
riparian areas would result in improved water quality. 
Improvement would result through streambank 
stabilization, sediment reduction, decreased water 
temperatures, moderation of peak flows, and the 
stabilization of base flows. Also, water quality is 
expected to improve as a result of protecting the 29 
springs in the 1 1 allotments remaining open to 
livestock grazing and the 3 Herd Management Areas 
containing horses and burro. Prohibiting competitive 
off-road vehicle activity within 0.25 mile of a water 
source would protect water resources from potential 
direct impacts (such as sedimentation). 

From Vegetation Management 
Actions to maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on 3,331,895 acres to a Desired Plant 
Community or to Potential Natural Community would 
improve protective ground cover and soil holding 
capability. Vegetation is a key component of a 
healthy watershed and as a result of improved 
dissipation of energy associated with stormwater 
runoff, erosion, and soil loss would be minimized 
improving water quality., An improvement in water 
quantity would be expected through better floodwater 
retention and groundwater recharge. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
The proposed plan designates 1,005,031 acres of 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. On these 
areas livestock grazing, wild horse and burro use 
(except for Gold Butte Part B, 1 19,097 acres), and 
competitive off -road vehicle use would not be allowed 
and mineral activities would be intensively managed. 
These restrictions are expected to reduce contaminants 
(such as sediments and coliform) entering the 106 
springs and 1.7 miles of perennial streams within their 
boundaries. 

The elimination of livestock, wild horse and burro 
grazing would improve vegetative condition and 
consequently result in better protective ground cover 
and soil-holding capability. Erosion and soil loss 
would be reduced and water quality improved as a 
result of better dissipation of energy that is associated 



with stormwater runoff. Improved water quantity 
would be expected through better floodwater retention 
and groundwater recharge. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Designation of 743,209 acres as Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern for recovery of the desert 
tortoise would place restrictions on livestock grazing, 
wild horse and burro use, off -road vehicle use, and 
mineral activities. Within the boundaries of the Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern there are 82 
springs and 1.7 miles of perennial streams that would 
realize an improved degree of protection. In addition, 
there are 27,735 acres of soil highly susceptible and 
420,195 acres of soil moderately susceptible to 
erosion that would be protected from the previously 
referenced soil- disturbing activities and resultant 
potential soil loss and sedimentation. Direct 
contamination of water sources from cattle, horses and 
burros would also be expected to diminish. See the 
specific discussions below for estimated soil losses 
attributable to livestock grazing, wild horse and burro 
use, off-road vehicle use, and mineral activities. 

Actions to maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on 869,800 acres of bighorn sheep habitat 
to full ecological potential or the Desired Plant 
Community would help improve protective ground 
cover and soil-holding capability. Vegetation is a key 
component of a healthy watershed and as a result of 
improved dissipation of energy associated with 
stormwater runoff, erosion and soil loss would be 
minimized and water quality improved. An increase 
in water quantity would be expected through better 
floodwater retention and groundwater recharge. 

The maintenance or improvement of 5 acres of 
spring-associated riparian area at Ash Meadows and 
the improvement of 200 acres of aquatic and riparian 
habitat on the Virgin River would result in improved 
water quality. The Improvement would be associated 
with streambank stabilization, sediment reduction, 
decreased water temperatures, moderation of peak 
flows, and the stabilization of base flows. 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
An impact on surface water would be expected, 
resulting in potential changes in water quality, 
quantity, and timing. Livestock grazing is considered 
to be a major contributor of coliform bacteria 
contamination occurring in most surface water sources 
of the planning area. Approximately 94 percent of 
spring sources are currently contaminated. Under this 
plan, water quality improvement on 117 spring 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FE1S - May 1998 



sources would be expected as a result of reduced 
grazing activity. There would continue to be 
contamination on those springs (19) within the open 
allotments but this would be short term, occurring for 
a period until the completion of protective measures. 
Through the closure of the Virgin River and Meadow 
Valley Wash to cattle grazing, coliform contamination 
from this source would be eliminated. Some 
contamination would occur on the Muddy River, 
where grazing would continue to be authorized, until 
appropriate protective measures are taken (such as 
fencing). 

The water resource is also impacted through soil 
compaction and the reduction of vegetative and litter 
cover that reduces infiltration and increases storm 
water runoff and sedimentation. Livestock grazing 
would be associated with an estimated potential soil 
loss of 224 tons per year, or a total of 4,480 tons over 
the life of the plan (20 years), in the allotments 
remaining open to grazing. Some of the displaced 
soil is expected to be in the form of sediments that 
would enter stream channels. However, due to the 
variability in the physical features and hydrologic 
characteristics of each watershed, actual amounts are 
not known at this time. 

From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
Impacts to the water resource from wild horse and 
burros would be similar to those resulting from 
livestock grazing. As with livestock, horses and 
burros are considered to be a major contributor of 
coliform bacteria contamination occurring in most 
surface water sources of the planning area. Under 
this plan, water quality improvement on 34 spring 
sources would be expected as a result of the removal 
of horses and burros from 3 of the 6 Herd 
Management Areas. There would continue to be 
contamination on those springs (28) within the Herd 
Management Areas containing animals, but this would 
be short term, occurring for a period until completion 
of protective measures. Within the Las Vegas BLM 
District, horses and/or burros do not frequent the area 
of the Virgin River, Meadow Valley Wash or the 
Muddy River; therefore, impacts to those systems are 
not expected. 

The water resource is also impacted through soil 
compaction and the reduction of vegetative and litter 
cover that reduces infiltration and increases storm 
water runoff and sedimentation. Water resources 
within the Herd Management Areas managed at a 
Appropriate Management Level would improve 
through the preservation of vegetative cover and 



resultant decrease in erosion, soil loss, and sediment 
production. 

There are presently 1 13 tons/year of soil loss 
occurring in the Herd Management Areas remaining 
active in this plan (See Table 4-2). When these Herd 
Management Areas reach the Appropriate 
Management Level, the soil loss and sediment 
production would be 0. 

From Lands Management 

Within the Las Vegas Valley, approximately 25,540 
acres would be disposed to provide for orderly 
expansion, development, and public services. Growth 
and development have already resulted in a 
groundwater overdraft situation and the rapid 
depletion of Nevada's allocation of Colorado River 
water. Land disposals would indirectly impact the 
water resource by providing land that may be 
developed resulting in an increased growth rate and 
demand on an already taxed water supply. 
Additional water requirements could lead to further 
over-drafting of available ground water and resultant 
water quality deterioration. 

An increase in annual water usage of 3,193 acre-feet 
per year is estimated to result from subsequent 
development of disposed lands. All of the disposed 
of lands will probably not be developed;, therefore, 
the actual increase in water use would be somewhat 
less than that indicated. The water use figure is 
based on an annual disposal rate of 1,277 acres over 
the life of the Resource Management Plan (20 years) 
and an average water use figure of 2.5 acre-feet per 
acre per year (calculated from current acres of 
development and water use in the Valley). 

Increased growth and development in the valley 
would result in more acres of impermeable surface, 
creating additional storm water runoff, accelerated 
erosion, and greater peak flow rates. Increased 
sedimentation and erosion could be expected within 
the Las Vegas Wash, where much of the 
riparian/wetland area has already been impacted by 
floodwater runoff. Other communities within the 
planning area could also experience increased amounts 
of runoff, soil erosion and consumptive demand, but 
to a lesser extent than in the Las Vegas Valley. 

Subsidence resulting from continued overdrafting of 
groundwater within the Las Vegas Valley has 
continued to be a problem since 1940. If groundwater 
is relied upon to meet additional water needs in 
response to further development of disposed of lands, 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



subsidence would be expected to occur to some 
degree depending on the remedial efforts taken. The 
groundwater recharge system currently in place by 
local purveyors may offset any potential subsidence 
impacts. 

From Rishts-of-Way Management 
The potential for impacts to the water resource would 
be present throughout the planning area, depending on 
the location and purpose of a right-of-way. This 
would be particularly true if the associated disturbance 
occurred within areas containing soil with high 
erosion susceptibility (90,550 acres). Impacts would 
result from soil disturbance and the resulting 
vegetative removal. As a result of this disturbance, 
the soils would be left in a vulnerable state (bare soil) 
with an increased potential for erosion. Depending on 
the location of a water source in relation to a right-of- 
way, it could be impacted through reduced water 
quality/quantity. The impact would be short term, 
lasting until rehabilitation efforts (including the re- 
establishment of vegetative cover and its soil holding 
capability) stabilize the soil. The low precipitation and 
resultant arid vegetation communities of the planning 
area are not readily amenable to standard 
rehabilitation efforts, so the time period necessary to 
adequately rehabilitate an area may be longer than 
under non-arid conditions. 

Few established right-of-way corridors are currently 
designated within the Las Vegas BLM District. 
Under this plan, 538 miles (157,761 acres) of 
utility/transportation corridors would be designated 
within the planning area. The potential impacts to 
those water sources outside the corridors, from 
transmission facilities, would be reduced. As 
identified in Table 3-4, these corridors would contain 
1,793 acres of soil highly susceptible and 40,505 acres 
of soil moderately susceptible to erosion. There are 3 
springs and 0.01 miles of perennial streams within the 
boundaries of the corridors, however minimal impact 
would be expected as a result of avoidance and 
implementation of mitigation on a site specific basis. 

From Recreation Management 

Since competitive off-road vehicle activity would only 
occur in previously disturbed areas, it is expected the 
soil, water and air resource would benefit through the 
preservation of areas presently undisturbed. The 
potential for direct impact to four springs 
(approximately 2 acres) would be reduced through the 
exclusion of competitive off-road vehicle activity 
within 0.25 mile of a natural water source. These are 



the only riparian areas located within the area open to 
competitive off-road vehicle activity. 

The water resource would be impacted as a result of 
soil surface disturbance due to competitive and casual 
off-road vehicle activity, both on existing roads/trails 
and off-road. This disturbance would leave soils 
vulnerable to erosion and soil loss; sedimentation to 
water sources such as springs and perennial streams 
may occur. This is particularly true if off-road 
vehicle activity occurs in areas with soil susceptible to 
erosion. It is not known at this time how much of 
the existing 3,325 acres of disturbance is actually 
located within areas containing susceptible soils. The 
actual extent of disturbance, however, will be limited 
because use will be restricted to existing courses, 
pit/staging areas, roads/trails and washes 
(approximately 3,325 acres). 

From Wild and Scenic Rivers Manasement 
The Virgin River would have added protection 
through interim management that considers the 
potential effect of proposed actions on the river's 
classification as a Recreation River. If the river is so 
classified, actions that would threaten its eligibility 
would be prohibited, including impacts to its flow and 
water quality. 

From Wilderness Manasement 
If the acreage recommended for wilderness 
designation is approved by Congress, 7,424 acres in 
critical erosion condition would be protected under the 
restrictions of a Wilderness Area. The remaining 
Wilderness Study Area acres with a critical erosion 
condition (24,754 acres) and all of the areas 
containing soil highly susceptible to erosion would be 
protected from off-road vehicle impact due to the 
limits on vehicles use to existing/designated roads. 
Since no roads exist in Wilderness Study Areas 
currently, no new off -road vehicle use would be 
possible. 

From Minerals Manasement 
Impacts to the water resource from mineral 
exploration and development are both temporary and 
potentially long term. With proper mitigation and 
reclamation, mineral exploration activities would not 
degrade water sources in the long term. Mineral 
development, however, could potentially be longer- 
term. The low precipitation and resultant arid 
vegetation communities of the planning area are not 
readily amenable to standard rehabilitation efforts, and 
the establishment of a soil holding vegetative cover is 
slow. Even after abandonment of mineral 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



developments, potential soil erosion and sedimentation 
to springs and streams may occur, depending on their 
location in relation to the activity. 

Fluid mineral activities could create impacts, 
primarily associated with road travel and drill pad 
construction. Little activity of this type occurs within 
the Las Vegas BLM District, and no increases are 
anticipated. 

Locatable mineral, mineral material sales, and non- 
energy leasable activities could present potential water 
resource impacts, depending on their proximity to 
springs and streams. Soil disturbance and potential 
sedimentation could result from both mineral 
exploration and development activities, including 
access and haul road construction, stockpiling of 
topsoil, and pit construction. Water resources in areas 
with soils susceptible to erosion would be particularly 
vulnerable. 

Under this plan, 41,649 acres of soil highly 
susceptible to erosion and 511,796 acres of soil 
moderately susceptible to erosion would be open to 
mineral activity. Within the area open to mineral 
activity, 90 springs and approximately 12.05 miles of 
perennial streams would be potentially impacted. 
Closure to all mineral activity, except fluid minerals, 
within 0.25 mile of natural springs and associated 
riparian areas would help to mitigate potential 
impacts. Currently, there are approximately 1,461 
acres of disturbance associated with mineral activities; 
this acreage is not expected to increase and may 
actually decrease somewhat. Stipulations incorporated 
into mining plans of operation, project design, 
reclamation, and compliance checks would eliminate 
or minimize potential impacts to the water resource. 

From Hazardous Materials Management 
The water resource would be impacted through 
hazardous materials entering the environment and 
potentially contaminating water, thereby reducing the 
water quality of surface and/or groundwater resources. 
In the event these materials enter a water resource, 
water quality will be maintained or restored to levels 
as prescribed by the appropriate regulatory agency. 

From Fire Management 

Wildfire suppression efforts would potentially result in 
a short-term increase in erosion/soil loss that may 
enter water resources (depending on location), due to 
surface disturbance by fire fighting equipment and 
operations. However, successful suppression efforts 
would minimize the number of acres impacted as a 



result of vegetative cover loss. Following fire 
suppression, the successful implementation of the Las 
Vegas District Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan would 
minimize the period during which soils would be 
vulnerable to increased erosion. The period would be 
reduced by re-establishing a vegetative cover and 
implementing other erosion prevention measures 
immediately following a fire. See the Soil Resource 
Management (from Fire Management) section of this 
Chapter for a description of the Normal Fire 
Rehabilitation Plan. 

Use of prescribed burns as a vegetative manipulation 
tool could result in an increase in erosion and 
resultant sedimentation and salt loading to water 
resources, depending on their location in relation to 
the burn area. The potential for increased erosion 
would would be short-term. In the long-term, 
improved vegetative cover would be expected to 
reduce the potential for erosion and impact to water 
resources. 



Riparian Management 

From Soil Resource Management 
The riparian resource would be impacted through 
improvement of watershed conditions. The 
improvement of approximately 96,994 acres of soil 
with a critical erosion condition and 37,670 acres 
with a moderate erosion condition and high erosion 
susceptibility would help to reduce impacts from 
erosion and sedimentation as stormwater runoff is 
modified. An increase in water quantity would be 
expected through better floodwater retention and 
groundwater recharge. 



From Water Resource Management 
Actions taken through this program would impact the 
riparian areas through maintenance and/or 
improvement of water quality and quantity. 
Reductions in erosion and sedimentation would also 
be expected to aid in maintenance and/or 
improvement of riparian areas as stormwater runoff is 
modified. 

From Riparian Management 

Riparian areas would be managed to maintain, restore 
or improve these areas to a healthy and productive 
ecological condition. Under this plan, measures 
would be taken to ensure that all 149 spring- 
associated riparian areas where practical and those 
riparian areas associated with perennial streams would 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



be in proper functioning condition (PFC). The 
implementation of measures to protect the 29 spring 
associated riparian areas (15 acres), that would 
continue to be impacted by grazing animals 
(livestock, wild horses and burros) would allow 
recovery of these areas to good condition. 

Five of these riparian areas have already been 
protected through the use of fencing. Riparian 
resources are expected to be protected from impacts 
associated with competitive off -road vehicle activity 
(such as sedimentation) by prohibiting such activity 
within 0.25 mile of water sources and their associated 
riparian areas. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
The proposed plan recommends designation of 
1,005,031 acres of Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. Precluding livestock grazing, wild horse 
and burro use (except for Gold Butte Pat B, 119,097, 
includes Gold Butte Townsite acres), and competitive 
off -road vehicle use and having mineral activities 
intensively managed would reduce impacts in these 
areas. There would be expected reduction in 
contaminants (such as sediments and coliform) 
entering the aquatic/riparian areas associated with 106 
springs and 1 .7 miles of perennial streams within their 
boundaries. Elimination of livestock, wild horse, and 
burro grazing would contribute to an improvement in 
vegetative condition of the riparian area, as well as 
the uplands. This would be expected to result in better 
protective ground cover and soil-holding capability. 
Erosion and soil loss would be reduced and water 
quality improved as a result of better dissipation of 
energy associated with storm water runoff. An 
improvement in water quantity would be expected 
through better floodwater retention and groundwater 
recharge. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Designation of 743,209 acres as Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern for recovery of the Desert 
Tortoise would place restrictions on livestock grazing, 
wild horse and burro use, and mineral activities that 
could potentially impact riparian areas. Within the 
boundaries of the Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, there are 82 spring associated riparian areas 
(approximately 41 acres) and 1.7 miles of stream 
associated riparian areas (approximately 20 acres). 
In addition, there are 27,735 acres of soil highly 
susceptible and 420,195 acres of soil moderately 
susceptible to erosion that would be protected from 
soil-disturbing activities and resultant potential soil 
loss and sedimentation to riparian areas. 



Actions to maintain or improve the condition of 
vegetation on 869,800 acres of bighorn sheep habitat 
to full ecological potential or the Desired Plant 
Community would help improve protective ground 
cover and soil-holding capability. Vegetation is a key 
component of a healthy watershed. As a result of 
improved dissipation of energy associated with 
stormwater runoff, there would be reduced erosion, 
soil loss and sedimentation impacting riparian areas. 
An increase in water quantity at riparian areas would 
be expected through better floodwater retention and 
groundwater recharge. 

An improvement toward PFC would be expected in 
relation to maintenance or improvement of 10 springs 
and 5 acres of associated riparian area at Ash 
Meadows and 200 acres of riparian habitat on the 
Virgin River. 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
Under this plan, improvement of the riparian areas 
associated with 1 17 springs (59 acres) would be 
expected as a result of eliminating grazing activity. 
There would continue to be an impact on 19 springs 
(10 acres) within the allotments that remain open to 
grazing, but this would be short term, occurring for a 
period until the completion of protective measures. 
Livestock grazing within riparian areas prevents 
regeneration of desirable vegetative types, compacts 
soil, increases surface salinity; can overgraze plant 
growth; and also lower the water table by increasing 
soil erosion. Through the closure of the Virgin River 
and Meadow Valley Wash to cattle grazing, impacts 
resulting from livestock would cease and result in 
recovery in riparian health. Impacts to the riparian 
area associated with the Muddy River would continue 
where grazing is authorized, until appropriate 
protective measures are taken. This impact, as with 
the springs located within open allotments, would be 
short term. 

From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
In the short term, horse and burro use on 28 of the 33 
spring associated riparian areas (14 acres) in the Gold 
Butte, Johnnie, and Muddy Mountains Herd 
Management Areas would continue to impact these 
areas. Five of the riparian areas (0.61 acres) have 
already been protected through the use of fencing. 
Wild horses and burros would continue to impact the 
unprotected riparian areas by concentrating around 
springs until protective measures are put in place as 
planned. As with livestock, wild horse and burro 
grazing within riparian areas prevents regeneration of 
desirable vegetative types, compacts soil, increases 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



surface salinity, overgrazes plant growth, and can 
lower the water table by increasing soil erosion. 

Removal of all horses and burros from the Eldorado 
Herd Management Area, and managing the Ash 
Meadows and Amargosa Herd Management Areas at 
a zero Appropriate Management Level, would 
eliminate grazing impacts on 34 spring associated 
riparian areas (17 acres). Establishment of 
Appropriate Management Levels for the remainder of 
the herd management areas would be based on 
riparian enhancement and requirements to sustain a 
healthy, properly functioning condition (such as have 
amount of water necessary to maintain the riparian 
area). Riparian conditions would improve in the long 
term, through adjustments in animal numbers to the 
appropriate levels to maintain the thriving natural 
ecological balance. 

From Lands Manasement 

Land disposals resulting in increased growth and 
development within the valley would contribute to 
more acres of impermeable surface, creating 
additional storm water runoff, accelerated erosion, and 
greater peak flow rates. Increased sedimentation and 
erosion could be expected within the Las Vegas 
Wash, which is where much of the riparian/wetland 
area has already been impacted by floodwater runoff. 
Other communities within the planning area could 
also experience increased amounts of runoff and soil 
erosion that may impact riparian areas, but to a lesser 
extent than in the Las Vegas Valley. 

From Rishts-of-Way Manasement 
The potential for impacts to the riparian resource 
would be present throughout the planning area, 
depending on the location and purpose of a right-of- 
way. Further, depending on its proximity to a right- 
of-way, a riparian area could be impacted through 
reduced water quality/quantity resulting from soil 
disturbance. The impact would be short term, lasting 
until rehabilitation efforts (including the re- 
establishment of vegetative cover and its soil holding 
capability) stabilize the soil. The low precipitation 
and resultant arid vegetation communities of the 
planning area are not readily amenable to standard 
rehabilitation efforts, so the time period necessary to 
adequately rehabilitate an area may be longer than 
under non-arid conditions. 

Few established right-of-way corridors are currently 
designated within the Las Vegas BLM District. 
Under this plan, 538 miles (157,761 acres) of 
utility/transportation corridors would be designated 



within the planning area. Placement of transmission 
facilities within these corridors would eliminate 
potential impacts to those riparian areas outside the 
corridors. Although there are 3 spring-associated and 
0.01 miles of stream-associated riparian areas 
(approximately 1.6 acres) within the boundaries of the 
corridors, minimal impact would be expected as a 
result of avoidance and implementation of mitigation 
on a site-specific basis. 

From Acquisitions Management 
Along the Virgin River there is interspersed private 
riparian area below the Riverside Bridge. Acquisition 
of this privately owned riparian area would facilitate 
its improvement to proper functioning condition by 
eliminating potential impacts from non-public 
holdings and by allowing a holistic approach to 
riparian improvements. 

From Recreation Manasement 

Since competitive off-road vehicle activity would only 
occur in previously disturbed areas, it is expected that 
soil and consequently the riparian resource would 
benefit through the preservation of areas presently 
undisturbed. The potential for direct impact to 4 
springs (approximately 2 acres) and their associated 
riparian areas would be reduced through the exclusion 
of competitive off-road vehicle activity within 0.25 
mile of a riparian area. These are the only riparian 
areas located within the area open to competitive off- 
road vehicle activity. 

The actual impact to the riparian resource from casual 
off -road vehicle use is not known, but considering the 
increasing population in southern Nevada that activity 
is expected to proportionately increase. Under this 
plan, limiting off -road vehicle activity to existing 
roads and trails would improve the riparian resource 
through the prevention of new soil disturbance and 
sediment production. 

From Wild and Scenic Rivers Manasement 
The riparian area associated with the Virgin River 
would see added protection through interim 
management that considers the potential effect of 
proposed actions on the river's classification as a 
Recreation River. If the river is so classified, actions 
that would threaten its eligibility would be prohibited, 
including impacts to the riparian area. 

From Wilderness Manasement 
If the acreage recommended for wilderness 
designation is approved by Congress, 7,424 acres in 
critical erosion condition would be protected under the 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



restrictions of a Wilderness Area. The remain in g 
Wilderness Study Area acres with a critical erosion 
condition (24,754 acres) and all of the areas 
containing soil highly susceptible to erosion would be 
protected from off -road vehicle impact due to the 
limits on vehicles use to existing/designated roads. 
Since no roads exist in Wilderness Study Areas 
currently, no new off-road vehicle use would be 
possible. 

From Minerals Management 
Impacts to the riparian resource from mineral 
exploration and development, although both temporary 
and potentially long term, would be minimal because 
riparian areas would be withdrawn from locatable 
minerals. In areas where existing mining claims are 
located, proper mitigation and reclamation would 
reduce impacts significantly. Because the low 
precipitation and resultant arid climate are not readily 
responsive to standard rehabilitation efforts, there is 
slow establishment of a soil-holding vegetative cover. 
Even after abandonment of mineral developments, 
potential soil erosion and sedimentation to the riparian 
areas associated with springs and streams may occur, 
depending on location of the waters in relation to the 
activity. 

Impacts from fluid minerals activities would be 
minimal. This plan would provide for No Surface 
Occupancy stipulations for any leases requested in 
riparian areas described in Table 2-12. Mineral 
material sales and non-energy leasable activities could 
potentially impact riparian resources, depending on 
their proximity to springs and streams. Soil 
disturbance and potential sedimentation could result 
from both mineral exploration and development 
activities, including access and haul road construction, 
stockpiling of topsoil, and pit construction. Riparian 
resources in areas with soils susceptible to erosion 
would be particularly vulnerable. Under this plan, 
41,649 acres of soil highly susceptible and 126,040 
acres of soil moderately susceptible to erosion would 
be open to mineral activity. Within the area open to 
mineral activity, approximately 45 acres (90 springs) 
of spring associated and 292 acres (12.05 miles) of 
stream associated riparian area could be potentially 
impacted. Closure to all minerals activity, except 
fluid minerals, within 0.25 mile of natural springs and 
associated riparian areas would help to mitigate 
potential impacts. Currently, there are approximately 
1,461 acres of disturbance associated with mineral 
activities. This is not expected to increase and may 
actually decrease somewhat. Stipulations incorporated 
into mining plans of operation, project design, 



reclamation, and compliance checks would eliminate 
or minimize potential impacts to the riparian resource. 

From Hazardous Materials Management 
The riparian resource could be impacted through 
hazardous materials entering the environment and 
potentially contaminating riparian areas thereby 
reducing water quality , vegetative cover and diversity 
of riparian areas. In the event that these materials do 
enter a riparian area, proposed actions taken would 
minimize the impact and ensure that its functioning 
condition is maintained or restored. 

From Fire Management 

Wildfire suppression efforts would potentially result in 
a short-term increase in erosion/soil loss that may 
enter aquatic/riparian areas (depending on location), 
due to surface disturbance by fire fighting equipment 
and operations. However, successful suppression 
efforts would minimize the number of acres impacted 
as a result of vegetative cover loss both within and 
outside riparian areas. Following fire suppression, the 
successful implementation of the Las Vegas District 
Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan would minimize the 
period during which soils would be vulnerable to 
increased erosion. The period would be reduced by 
reestablishing a vegetative cover and implementing 
other erosion prevention measures immediately 
following a fire. See the Soil Resource Management 
(from Fire Management) section of this Chapter for a 
description of the Normal Fire Rehabilitation Plan. 

Use of prescribed burns as a vegetative manipulation 
tool could result in an increase in sedimentation to 
riparian areas, depending on their proximity to the 
burn area. Although the potential for increased 
impact to riparian areas would be expected, it would 
be short-term. In the long-term, improved vegetative 
cover would be expected to reduce the potential for 
erosion and impact to riparian resources. 



Vegetation Management 

From Vegetation Management 
Managing for the Desired Plant Community or the 
Potential Natural Community would substantially 
enhance vegetation communities by replacing invading 
species, including noxious an invasive weeds with 
natural species. Efforts to rehabilitate disturbed sites, 
when possible, would be undertaken in accordance 
with the fire rehabilitation plan and project-specific 
mitigation measures. Native species would be the 
preferred plant in rehabilitation efforts to manage 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



toward the Potential Natural Community and to 
provide optimum native species diversity. 

Vegetation would progress very slowly toward the 
Desired Plant Community or the Potential Natural 
Community regardless of BLM actions. An upward 
trend, representing a progression from one condition 
class to a higher class (such as from mid-seral stage 
to late-seral stage), would be accomplished in much 
of the planning unit during the life of the plan. 
Threatened, endangered and candidate plant species 
would be protected by prohibiting construction, 
mining, and cross-country off-road vehicle uses. 
Protection would also occur through avoidance and 
mitigation through the National Environmental Policy 
Act process. This would also reduce the potential for 
listing of other species as threatened and endangered. 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
Vegetation resources on approximately 611,000 acres 
of public lands would be impacted by livestock 
grazing. Approximately 689,784 acres currently 
closed to livestock grazing would remain closed and 
an additional 2,031,111 acres of public lands would 
be closed. 

The number of animal unit months licensed has 
declined from approximately 30,000 in 1988 to 7,730 
in 1994. Livestock numbers and animal unit months 
used are expected to decrease for the next few years, 
due to general economics and management to protect 
threatened and endangered species. An estimated 
future use level of approximately 4,000 Animal Unit 
Months is projected, based on allotments closures. 

A total of 1 1 allotments would be managed under 
grazing systems in the long term. Above-ground 
biomass would increase and plant reproductive 
capability maintained or improved. The vigor of 
mature plants would be maintained or improved. 
Increased numbers of immature plants would 
successfully become established, making more plant 
material available for litter. If grazing exceeds 
established use levels, livestock would be removed, 
thus eliminating the potential to decrease vegetative 
cover. In the long term, species diversity should 
increase and ecological condition approach or reach a 
Potential Natural Community. 

No grazing would increase above-ground biomass 
with plant reproductive capability maintained or 
enhanced. The vigor of mature plants would be 
maintained or improved. Abundant immature plants 



would successfully become established, increasing 
litter potential for soil stabilization. 

Specific impacts related to unmanaged grazing would 
include repeated removal of above ground biomass, 
resulting in decreased production. Mature plants 
would experience reduced reproductive capability and 
vigor, while immature individuals would have 
difficulty in becoming established. Physical damage 
to both forage and non-forage species could result 
from trampling. Impacts during the dormant period 
would further reduce vegetative cover and the amount 
of plant material available for litter. 

Grazing use would be keyed to specific utilization 
levels, depending on season of use, thus reducing the 
damaging impacts of cropping associated with year- 
long livestock grazing. An increase in canopy cover 
and plant vigor is expected. If grazing use exceeds 
established levels, livestock would be removed from 
an allotment. In the long term, under properly 
managed rangelands, species diversity and ecological 
condition should be maintained or improved. 

From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
Wild horse and burro impacts to vegetative resources 
would be eliminated on the Ash Meadows, Eldorado, 
and Amargosa Herd Management Areas. Wild horse 
and burro impacts to vegetation would continue to 
occur on three Herd Management Areas. Managing 
population levels at a thriving natural ecological 
balance would minimize or eliminate damage to the 
vegetation resources. Increased monitoring of 
utilization levels within the grazed Herd Management 
Areas would clearly indicate when animals should be 
removed to protect the vegetative resource. This level 
of monitoring would be proposed in any new Herd 
Management Area Plan developed for proper herd 
management. (See also impacts described under 
Riparian Management.) 

From Lands Management 

The vast majority of the Blue Diamond Cholla habitat 
would be protected under BLM management. No 
special management actions or use restrictions would 
be needed to ensure the long-term viability of the 
species. Listing as a threatened or endangered species 
would be avoided. 

From Mineral Management 

Removal of vegetative cover can lead to increased soil 
erosion by wind and water, as well as a loss of forage 
and habitat for livestock, wildlife and wild horses and 
burros. Soil compaction, mixing of soil horizons, the 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



presence of hazardous materials and high 
concentrations of minerals in areas of exploration and 
development would further hamper revegetation 
efforts. A visual impact would also occur because 
even with reclamation efforts the plant community 
would be different than the surrounding areas. Based 
on the recommended closures, approximately 33 
percent of the district would be protected from surface 
disturbance caused by mining activity. This would 
enhance the habitats for the species dependant plants 
being protected. 



Visual Resource Management 

From Visual Resource Management 
Adopted Visual Resource Management classes would 
provide standards and guide the development of 
mitigation measures to protect or enhance visual 
resources. Mitigation measures designed to reduce or 
eliminate impacts to visual resources would be 
developed and implemented on all actions. These 
could include changing the color of structures to blend 
with the natural color of the landscape, hiding 
structures or roads behind ridge lines, and by 
restricting motorized vehicle recreation and activity to 
either existing or designated roads and trails. 
Immediately adjacent to Las Vegas the rural open 
visual character of the landscape would be eliminated. 

From Lands Management 

Urbanization of southern Nevada will cause a loss of 
the natural landscape in Las Vegas Valley, as well as 
the Mesquite, Pahrump, and Laughlin areas. Loss of 
visual quality to form, line, color, and texture of the 
existing landscape would be caused by new roads, 
housing developments, commercial development, 
recreation facilities, and schools. 

From Rights-of-Way Management 
Designated corridors would help protect visual 
qualities by concentrating impacts within specified 
geographic zones. Although the process of 
designating corridors creates no visual impacts, the 
following analysis is intended to evaluate the potential 
impacts of construction of electrical transmission lines 
through those proposed corridors. 

Construction of approximately four powerlines in the 
Coyote Springs Valley could degrade the visual 
resources along U.S. Highway 93 from State Road 
165 south, where only one short line currently exists. 
Due to technical considerations and the presence of 
critical desert tortoise habitat, one line would likely be 



placed close to the road, 600 feet east of the highway 
centerline. All lines would be suspended from towers 
averaging 120 to 130 feet in height. At the south end 
of the valley, three lines would cross over the existing 
line and swing east over the Arrow Canyon Range, 
while the existing line would continue south along the 
highway. The visual impacts would be apparent for 
several miles in each direction along the highway due 
to the tower height and the locations on the ridges of 
the Arrow Canyon Range. Corridor crossings of major 
highways, such as Interstate 15 (1-15) and State Roads 
93 and 95, would be confined to previously impacted 
areas and should not substantially degrade the visual 
resources in these locations. 

Map 2-4 shows corridor alternatives for construction 
of electrical transmission lines through the Rainbow 
Gardens and River Mountains Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern (and the Henderson Area). 
The planning objective was to provide a feasible 
corridor for the construction of up to six additional 
500-kV powerlines, which were previously authorized 
or pending approval. 

Corridor A avoids the central portion of Rainbow 
Gardens Area of Critical Environmental Concern and 
follows a route that would restrict placement of the 
lines between two prominent ridges, obscuring 
visibility from most of residential Las Vegas. 
However, the designation would route lines into a 
two-mile area that is presently undisturbed prior to an 
intersection with existing roads near the former 
Sunrise Mountain Landfill. Any above-ground 
transmission line would also substantially alter the 
unobstructed view of the Las Vegas Wash park area, 
currently under development. 

Corridor B would route additional lines through the 
center of the Rainbow Gardens area and over the Red 
Needle feature in this area. Lines would be placed in 
an area currently containing two major transmission 
lines. Although other lines currently exist in this 
corridor, the addition of up to four additional lines 
would create an additional impact in this area by 
visually dominating the landscape. The rugged nature 
of the terrain would impose engineering constraints 
and potentially create more surface disturbance. 

Corridors A and B would require that the 
Intermountain Power Project (IPP) and McCullough 
lines are crossed south of Las Vegas Wash. The new 
corridor lines could not be constructed on the west 
side of the present lines due to urban development in 
the Henderson areas, starting at a new subdivision, 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Calico Ridge, approximately one-half mile south of 
the Wash near Lake Mead Drive. Other housing 
areas are located immediately adjacent to the present 
lines south of Lake Mead Drive. The crossing would 
require construction of larger and taller towers in 
comparison to those existing facilities, creating a more 
obvious visual intrusion. Five or six additional towers 
on each side of the existing six towers could be 
placed within a distance of approximately 2,500 feet. 

South of this crossing, new lines could follow the 
1,400-feet corridor, parallel to the IPP and 
McCullough lines or the 2,000-feet corridor through 
the River Mountains. In either case, between four and 
eight parallel lines would be located in the immediate 
vicinity of Calico Ridge, the entrance road to Lake 
Las Vegas, and Lake Mead Drive. This would 
comprise a considerable, unavoidable visual intrusion. 
Visual impacts on the Lake Las Vegas entrance would 
be reduced to some extent by the presence of the 
ridge between the corridor and the entrance road. 
However, visual impacts for travelers on Lake Mead 
Drive and to Calico Ridge subdivision would continue 
to be major for over a mile south, where the corridor 
passes over the ridge. 

The corridors would have a moderate visual impact on 
private property and the urban areas of Henderson 
south of Lake Mead Drive for approximately two 
miles. The intensity of the impacts would be assessed 
as low to moderate for an additional two miles, at 
which point all construction would be restricted to the 
sides and tops of ridges. Multiple lines would be 
skylined in this area. In the vicinity of U.S. Highway 
95 south of Henderson, impacts would be high where 
the lines would cross the highway. 

From Minerals Management 
Visual resources within the Arrow Canyon, Muddy 
Mountains, and Resting Springs Ranges (all within 
Class II Visual Resource Management areas) would 
be impacted over the long term by projected mineral 
development. Due to the low unit values of mineral 
resources in these areas, the large scale, open pit type 
operations necessary to operate profitably would 
require strategic location and extensive mitigative 
measures to maintain the impacts within the standard 
of Class II Visual Resource Management. 

A major ridge of the Arrow Canyon Range within 
Visual Resource Management Class III could be 
mined for limestone. The large mine required for an 
economic operation would be visible to travelers 
along U.S. Highway 93 for several miles, creating a 



permanent, negative impact on visual resources. 



Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 

The discussion below summarized anticipated impacts 
from designation of Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. The impacts to a specific program or 
resource are analyzed in additional detail in the 
appropriate program or resource discussion. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, 
encompassing approximately 1,005,031 acres, would 
be designated, providing special management attention 
to protect critical environmental values. In addition to 
the special management attention identified in the 
individual Area of Critical Environmental Concern 
discussions in Chapter 2 and the impacts discussed 
below, one regulatory impact would occur upon 
designation. The Code of Federal Regulations at Title 
43, Sub-Part 3809 (43 CFR 3809) requires that a plan 
of operations be submitted for approval by BLM, 
prior to commencing any surface-disturbing activities 
conducted pursuant to the 3809 regulations (locatable 
mineral activities) within a designated Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. This requirement affords 
BLM the opportunity to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment to identify alternatives and mitigating 
measures. Where appropriate, a Section 7 consultation 
for endangered and threatened species and/or a 
Section 106 consultation for cultural resources must 
also be conducted, thus reducing or eliminating 
impacts to these sensitive resources. 

Approximately 743,209 acres in four areas would be 
designated as Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern to provide for the recovery of the desert 
tortoise. Impacts, including habitat loss and direct 
mortality to tortoises and other wildlife species, would 
be reduced through operation of the 3809 regulations 
on valid existing rights, by limiting casual off -road 
vehicle use to designated roads and trails, by 
prohibiting all speed off -road vehicle events and 
Section 7 consultations. 

Approximately 261,822 acres in other areas would be 
designated as Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern to protect other critical resource values, 
including threatened and endangered species, botanical 
resources, wildlife habitat, cultural and paleontological 
resources, geological resources, scenic quality and 
visual resources, and designated natural areas. 
Impacts such as habitat loss, direct mortality to 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



wildlife species, and degradation of scenic quality 
would be reduced through the following management 
actions: operation of the 3809 regulations on valid 
existing rights, limiting casual off -road 'vehicle use to 
existing roads and trails, prohibiting speed off -road 
vehicle events and closure to mineral material 
disposal, locatable mineral entry and leasable 
minerals. 

From Rights-of-Way Management 
See Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management, From 
Rights-of-Way Management, for a discussion of 
impacts to desert tortoise. 

From Minerals Management 

Table 2-12 shows the Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern that would be closed to locatable, leasable, 
and salable mineral entry; closed to solid leasing; and 
subject to fluid mineral no surface occupancy. 
However, mineral development may still occur on 
valid existing rights. Mineral exploration and 
development in desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern would impact desert tortoise. 
Habitat would be degraded or destroyed. Individual 
tortoises would either be killed or displaced from then- 
home ranges. Increased roads and traffic in the Area 
of Critical Environmental Concern would increase the 
potential for road kills of desert tortoise. (See the 
section on Cultural Resource Management, From 
Minerals Management, for a discussion of impacts to 
cultural resources.) 



Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 

From Soil, and Water Management 
Improved watershed conditions would increase forage 
and cover for wildlife. Erosion control, particularly in 
riparian areas, would encourage vegetative production 
and improve water quality. These areas would have 
enhanced value as wildlife habitat. Management 
actions would help ensure that sufficient water is 
available to maintain riparian and aquatic habitats. 
Habitat for threatened and endangered species in the 
Virgin River would be maintained or improved. 



From Riparian Management 

Riparian enhancement actions would provide healthy 
riparian systems, providing habitat for a variety of 
wildlife species. A greater diversity and density of 
wildlife species would find habitat in these improved 
riparian areas. The density and distribution of 
wildlife species that depend upon riparian habitat 



could change over the long term. Riparian condition 
would affect water temperature, silt load, instream 
flow, spring flow, water quality and salinity of aquatic 
habitat. Habitat for threatened and endangered fish 
species in the Virgin River could improve. Special 
status plants that occur in riparian habitats would be 
protected. 

From Vegetation Management 
Managing for Desired Plant Community or Potential 
Natural Community would ensure availability of a 
variety of habitats for wildlife and special status 
species. Greater plant species diversity would provide 
a variety of forage, increasing the potential for 
improved tortoise nutrition and decreasing the 
incidence of malnutrition. More vigorous tortoise 
populations would result in increased survival and 
recruitment rates. Managing for a Potential Natural 
Community would create increased cover, affording 
hatchling and juvenile tortoises greater protection 
from predation, and improving recruitment. If 
individual tortoises are healthier, their resistance to 
Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD) would be 
expected to increase. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Designation of approximately 1,005,031 acres as 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern would result 
in additional protection for wildlife and plant habitat. 
These areas would be managed to preserve the values 
of the area and other activities would be limited. 
Most wildlife species would incur advantages from 
reduced loss, degradation, and fragmentation of 
habitat. Habitat of some candidate species would be 
protected, reducing the likelihood of future listing of 
the species as threatened or endangered. 

Essential habitat in Ash Meadows Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern would be managed for 
recovery of the Ash Meadows ecosystem and endemic 
species. Beetle habitat on Big Dune and bighorn 
sheep habitat in the River Mountains would receive 
additional protection. Mesquite would be managed to 
provide ample cover and forage for wildlife. Desert 
tortoise habitat totaling 743,209 acres would be 
managed primarily for the recovery of the species, 
resulting in impacts to the desert tortoise. Ecological 
condition in the desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern would be improved to allow 
the recovery of the species; impacts to tortoise would 
be mitigated. 

Conflicting land uses would be limited, reducing both 
direct and indirect impacts on the tortoise. Protective 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



measures implemented in the desert tortoise Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern, such as elimination 
of future mineral exploration, development and 
mining and grazing by livestock and wild horses and 
burros, would allow for improvement of tortoise 
habitat and upward population trends in tortoise 
populations. Las Vegas bear poppy habitat in 
Rainbow Gardens and Gold Butte would be afforded a 
higher level of protection. 

Designation of desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern would aid in recovery and 
eventual delisting of the desert tortoise. In 
combination with land managed by other Federal 
agencies and other BLM districts, sufficient habitat 
would be protected to support viable populations of 
desert tortoise and to meet the criteria of the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Management actions for desert tortoise ensure 
adequate habitat is available to support viable 
populations. Impacts to tortoise from other uses 
would be reduced. Other resident wildlife would 
thrive from improved habitat conditions. 

Existing populations of game species would be 
maintained or increased through protection and 
improvement of habitat. Habitat for special status 
species would be protected, thereby reducing the 
potential that these species would be listed as 
threatened or endangered and aiding in the recovery 
of listed species. BLM inholdings in Ash Meadows 
National Wildlife Area/Refuge (NWR) would be made 
available for withdrawal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) for inclusion in the Refuge, 
facilitating refuge management and indirectly 
improving the habitat of some species. 

Habitats for non-game species, such as neotropical 
birds, would be inventoried and managed to maintain 
or improve habitat conditions for species of concern. 

Important habitats for special status plant species 
would be protected, allowing for the maintenance of 
existing populations of plant species of concern. 
Additional management attention would be directed 
toward these species through development and 
implementation of conservation agreements. 

From Forestry Management 

impacts to non-game bird special status species from 
firewood harvest would be m inim al Firewood 
harvest would not be authorized, unless beneficial to 



wildlife species dependent on mesquite habitats. 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
Elimination of livestock grazing on all but 1 1 
allotments would enhance wildlife habitat and reduce 
competition for forage and water. Closure of Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern to livestock 
grazing would have a long-term, substantial 
stabilization and improvement of desert tortoise 
habitat and populations trends. A diverse nutritious 
forage base would be provided for desert tortoise, 
lowering the incidence of malnutrition and 
osteoporosis. Improved vigor of tortoise populations 
would reduce the susceptibility of individuals to 
Upper Respiratory Tract Disease. Reduced utilization 
levels would improve cover for hatchling and juvenile 
tortoises, susceptible to predation. This would lessen 
competition for forage and the likelihood of trampling 
of tortoises and burrows. Over the long term, 
increased recruitment rates would aid in the recovery 
of the tortoise. 

Continuing grazing on open allotments at Prescription 
2 levels outside of Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern would enhance the condition of the existing 
vegetative communities. Restricting the utilization of 
key forage species would sustain current habitat 
quality, with possible improvement. Tortoise 
populations would be maintained at current levels. 
Trampling of tortoise and competition for forage 
would continue in those areas open to grazing. 

Management for the Potential Natural Community or 
the Desired Plant Community would provide good 
habitat conditions for many wildlife species. 
Competition between wildlife and livestock for water, 
forage and space would continue in those areas open 
to livestock grazing. Special status plants would 
benefit from a reduction in grazing pressure and soil 
disturbance in those areas closed to livestock grazing. 
In those areas remaining open to grazing, plants 
would continue to be impacted by trampling and 
herbivory. 

Grazing closure in the Virgin River Bottom Allotment 
and riparian areas in Meadow Valley Wash and the 
Virgin River would protect threatened and endangered 
fish, waterfowl, and non-game species. Erosion 
would be reduced as a result of decreased utilization 
of forage within the riparian area and trampling of the 
stream banks; water quality would also improve. No 
domestic sheep grazing would be authorized, greatly 
reducing the potential for disease transmission to 
bighorn sheep. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
Over the long-term, competition for forage would be 
non-existent by managing the Ash Meadows, 
Amargosa, and Eldorado Herd Management Areas for 
horses and burros. This would directly protect and 
enhance wildlife and their habitat. Areas with past 
overgrazing would be allowed to recover. Increased 
forage and cover would be available for wildlife with 
competition for water and forage between wildlife and 
wild burros removed. 

Multiple-use decisions would be used to adjust any 
Appropriate Management Level established in The 
Plan based on new monitoring data. Riparian areas 
may require protective fencing, making the water less 
accessible to wildlife. In the Gold Butte, Muddy 
Mountain, Red Rocks, Johnnie and Wheeler Pass herd 
management areas, impacts to wildlife and plants 
would continue at a lower level than that which 
occurred under the no action alternative. Some level 
of competition for forage and water would continue 
between wild horses and burros and wildlife. Plants 
would be subject to some level of trampling and 
herbivory. 

From Lands Management 
Discretionary Disposal Areas. Approximately 
1,022,314 acres within the planning unit would be 
available for disposal through sale, exchange, color- 
of -title, or Recreation and Public Purposes patent. 
These lands would be evaluated for the presence of 
special status species before being approved for 
disposal. Public land outside of established disposal 
areas would only be considered for disposal if specific 
criteria are met. Areas of critical environmental 
concern would not be available for disposal under any 
circumstances, protecting habitat for desert tortoise 
and other wildlife. 

Most of the habitat within established disposal areas is 
marginal wildlife habitat due to the proximity of 
urban areas. Continued expansion of the developed 
areas would create new marginal areas for wildlife. 
Direct impacts to wildlife would include incidental 
take and loss of habitat. Indirect impacts would 
comprise the increased possibility of take due to 
casual recreational use, harassment by domestic dogs 
and cats, and degradation and fragmentation of 
habitat. Due to urban development, movement of 
bighorn sheep between the McCullough and River 
Mountains may no longer be possible. 

Disposal of lands outside of established disposal areas 
would require close coordination with Nevada 



Division of Wildlife, Nevada Division of Forestry, 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, providing for 
the identification of potential impacts to wildlife and 
special status species. If the disposal would result in 
significant impacts to wildlife or special status 
species, the lands would likely be retained. 

Large blocks of habitat sufficient to support viable 
populations of wildlife would be maintained outside 
of established disposal areas. Springs and associated 
riparian habitats would be preserved for wildlife use. 
Private and leased lands in Coyote Springs Valley, if 
returned to Federal jurisdiction, would improve the 
integrity of Coyote Springs Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern and increase the potential for 
recovery and delisting of the desert tortoise. 

From Rights-of-Way Management 
All Areas of Critical Environmental Concern would 
be designated as rights-of-way avoidance areas. Over 
the long term, wildlife and special species habitat 
within these areas would be subject to less 
disturbance. For the most part, these areas would be 
excluded from mineral material rights-of-way. 
However, areas within 0.50 mile of Federal aid 
highways would be open to mineral material rights-of- 
way issued to governmental entities. 

Development of material site rights-of-way would 
have impacts on resident wildlife and special status 
species, including loss of habitat and mortality of 
individuals. Residual impacts to wildlife would be 
mitigated to the extent possible. 

Designation of utility corridors would facilitate the 
mitigation of impacts from proposed utilities and 
prevent proliferation of rights-of-way throughout the 
planning area. Concentrating powerlines in narrow 
corridors would restrict and localize raven and raptor 
perching sites. 

In spite of the designation of corridors, overhead 
powerlines would impact desert tortoise by providing 
additional perching sites for ravens and raptors, 
causing loss and degradation of habitat, and resulting 
in direct mortality of animals during construction. 
Access roads for utility rights-of-way could also result 
in increased access into wildlife habitat. Increased 
access would create a greater potential for incidental 
take of desert tortoise, harassment of wildlife, road 
kills, and degradation of habitat. Impacts to wildlife 
from material sites, including loss and fragmentation 
of habitat and direct mortality, would be reduced 
under this alternative. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



From Acquisitions Management 
The BLM would attempt to acquire key, undeveloped 
private lands within Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. Wildlife habitats would be consolidated, 
facilitating management of large blocks of public 
lands. Lands not specifically identified for acquisition 
could be acquired for the protection of threatened, 
endangered and special status species of plants and 
a nim als. There would be a positive impact on 
management for special status species, particularly 
plants which occur in small, isolated populations, 
often outside of areas of critical environmental 
concern and sometimes on private lands within 
disposal areas. 

From Recreation Management 

Special Recreation Management Areas. Designation 
of approximately 40,200 acres in the Rainbow 
Gardens area as a special recreation management area 
could have negative impacts on special status plants 
occurring in the area. 

Off-road Vehicle Racing. Acreage open to high- 
speed, competitive off-road vehicle events would 
decrease in comparison to the No Action Alternative. 
This would reduce direct impacts associated with 
high-speed, competitive events including soil 
compaction and erosion, widening of existing roads 
and trails, creation of new roads and trails, and 
increased potential for direct mortality and harassment 
of wildlife. Off-road activity by spectators can cause 
damage to vegetation and soils, and direct mortality 
and harassment of wildlife would be decreased by 
strict regulation of spectators and spectator viewing 
areas. Big Dune beetle habitat area would be closed 
to all competitive events, reducing the potential to 
impact candidate species. These impacts would 
continue in those areas open to racing. All areas of 
critical environmental concern would be closed to off- 
road vehicle speed events, resulting in additional 
protection for wildlife and plant habitat. 

Off-Road Vehicle Designations. There would be 
reduced impacts associated with off -road activities, 
such as habitat degradation, proliferation of roads, 
harassment of wildlife, vandalism, and road kills. The 
acreage designated as open would decrease 
substantially; a portion of Big Dune, the Nellis Dunes, 
and non-vegetated portions of dry lakes would be the 
only areas that would remain open. All desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern would be 
designated as "limited to designated roads and trails", 
further reducing impacts to wildlife. Some roads 



would be physically closed and rehabilitated. 
Approximately 200 acres at Big Dune would be 
closed to all Off-road vehicle use. Off-road vehicle 
use in Wilderness Study Areas not designated by 
Congress would be limited to existing roads and trails, 
providing long-term protection of bighorn sheep 
habitat. 

Rainbow Gardens Area of critical environmental 
concern would be designated as "limited to designated 
roads and trails" providing additional protection for 
habitat of special status plant species occurring in the 
area. The remainder of the planning area would be 
"limited to existing roads and trails" reducing impacts 
to vegetation, soils and wildlife. 

Due to continued rapid population growth in Clark 
County, there will be a continually increasing demand 
for casual recreational opportunities on Public . 
Management actions proposed in The Plan will reduce 
impacts to wildlife and plants from casual recreational 
use of public lands. 

From Wilderness Management 
In the short term, implementation of the Interim 
Management Policy would assist in the protection of 
wildlife and special status species habitat. Long term, 
the designation of Wilderness Areas would enhance 
such habitats=. Although some wildlife management 
activities may be precluded in Wilderness Areas, 
long-term habitat protection from off-road vehicle use, 
mineral exploration and development, and associated 
indirect impacts would outweigh impacts to wildlife 
from constraints on wildlife management. 

From Minerals Management 
Outside of areas of critical environmental concern, 
mining and other mineral developments would 
contribute to impacts on wildlife and plant habitat and 
populations. Impacts from mineral exploration and 
development would include direct mortality during 
mining activities. The loss and degradation of habitat, 
harassment, and an increased probability of incidental 
take would constitute indirect impacts. These would 
occur during exploration and development activities 
which could also create new roads, further 
fragmenting wildlife habitat and increasing access. 
Some effects would be substantially mitigated through 
standard stipulations and mitigation measures 
developed through Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act and other relevant legislation and policy. 

Within areas of critical environmental concern, 
potential impacts from mining would be reduced 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



compared to the No Action Alternative. These areas 
would be closed to solid leasables, subject to no 
surface occupancy, or timing and surface use 
constraints for fluid mineral development, segregated 
and withdrawn from the operation of the mining laws 
and closed to most salable mineral development. 

Fluid Minerals. Approximately 55 percent of the 
planning area would be open to fluid mineral 
development. Another 25 percent would be available 
for leasing only, with No Surface Occupancy 
stipulations. An additional 3 percent of the planning 
area would be available for leasing subject to timing 
and surface use restrictions. The opportunity for 
exploration and development of fluid minerals would 
be reduced, thereby reducing impacts to wildlife. 
Seismic line projects utilizing cross-country travel 
would require rehabilitation and temporary closure to 
reduce subsequent use by off -road vehicles. There 
would be a potential for crushing of small wildlife 
during seismic operations. Mitigation measures, 
including the use of low pressure tire vehicles and 
seasonal restrictions on seismic activities, could 
lessen, but not eliminate, these impacts. 

Outside of areas of critical environmental concern, 
impacts to wildlife and special status species could 
result from fluid mineral exploration and 
development. Development of a large oil and gas 
field would impact wildlife through the loss and 
fragmentation of habitat, mortality of individual 
animals, and increased access. Mitigation of impacts, 
to the extent possible, would be developed through 
Section 7 consultation. 

Locatable Minerals. Under the management direction 
in this plan, approximately 1,005,031 acres of Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern and 189,279 acres 
of lands identified for disposals and BLM 
administrative sites would be segregated and 
withdrawn from future locatable mineral entry during 
plan implementation. These areas would be closed to 
locatable, salable and leasable mineral entry, which 
would protect wildlife and their habitats from loss, 
degradation and fragmentation. In areas open to 
mineral entry or with valid existing rights, indirect 
impacts from mineral exploration and development 
would include habitat degradation, fragmentation and 
loss. Direct impacts would include harassment, 
injury, and mortality of individual animals. Impacts 
would be mitigated to the extent possible during 
development of mining plans of operation. 



Loss of habitat for the Las Vegas Bear Poppy may 
occur from mining of gypsum in the Muddy 
Mountains and the development of valid existing 
claims in the Rainbow Gardens Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. This species is listed as 
critically endangered by the State of Nevada and is 
restricted to gypsiferous soils. Much of its habitat in 
the Las Vegas Valley has already been lost to urban 
development. Proposed mineral withdrawals would 
protect an estimated 80 percent of the Las Vegas bear 
poppy habitat on public lands within the planning 
area. 

Salable Minerals. Disposal of salable minerals would 
not be allowed within 36 percent of the total planning 
area. These areas would be managed as sensitive 
riparian areas, B LM administrative sites, and Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern, with allowance 
for 0.50 mile corridor on either side of Federal-aid 
highways and county roads described in minerals 
management direction MN-l-k and MN-l-n. This 
would reduce loss, degradation, and fragmentation of 
wildlife and their habitats in the planning area. In 
areas open to salable mineral disposal, indirect 
impacts from mineral material exploration and 
development would include habitat degradation, 
fragmentation, and loss. Direct impacts would include 
harassment, injury, and mortality of individual 
animals. Impacts would be mitigated to the extent 
possible during development of mineral extraction 
plans and disposal contract stipulations. 

Salable mineral development would be allowed within 
areas of critical environmental concern. However, 
authorizations for mineral removal would be allowed 
only within 0.50 mile of Federal aid highways, state 
highways, and county roads and issued only to 
governmental entities. This would provide additional 
protection to wildlife and special status species habitat 
in areas more than 0.50 mile from roads. 

Within the 0.50 mile area and outside of areas of 
critical environmental concern, impacts to wildlife and 
special status species would continue. Indirect 
impacts from mineral exploration and development 
would include habitat degradation, fragmentation and 
loss. Direct impacts would include harassment, 
injury, and mortality of individual animals or loss of 
individual plants. Impacts would be mitigated to the 
extent possible. Given the continued rapid growth in 
southern Nevada, the demand for sand and gravel will 
continue to be high. Management actions in The 
Plan will reduce impacts to wildlife and special status 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



species by focusing mineral extraction actives within 
the less sensitive areas. 

From Hazardous Materials Management 
Hazardous materials contamination of the soil, water, 
or air may result in degradation of fish and wildlife 
habitat. Appropriate hazardous material planning and 
response will minimize these impacts. 

Livestock Grazing Management 

From Riparian Manasement 

Livestock operators who are unwilling to manage use 
in riparian areas could sustain economic hardships due 
to removal of cattle when use levels are exceeded. 
Riparian areas in the Las Vegas BLM District are few 
in number and tend to be heavily grazed at various 
times during the year. Unprotected riparian areas 
where livestock continue to graze would constitute a 
limiting management factor. Utilization levels for 
riparian species would be used to determine when 
livestock would be either removed from the allotment 
or relocated within the allotment. 

From Vegetation Manasement 
Protection of candidate plants in the Las Vegas BLM 
District would require management actions that assure 
the species do not require listing as threatened or 
endangered. Such actions could impact livestock 
management on allotments where candidate species 
occur, potentially changing grazing strategies or 
causing the removal of livestock. Utilization levels 
identified for key forage species could result in 
reduced herd size, which could affect the economic 
viability of most permittees' operations. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
The management goals identified in the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan would have far-reaching impacts to the 
livestock industry. Only 11 allotments within the Las 
Vegas BLM District would be available for domestic 
livestock grazing. Grazing use would be authorized in 
accordance with the Tortoise Recovery Plan 
objectives. This would reduce the number of animal 
unit months available from approximately 10,037 to 
2,440. (Refer to the Socioeconomic section for a 
detailed analysis of livestock grazing economics.) 

Thirty-nine allotments would be closed to all domestic 
livestock grazing. This figure includes closures 
carried forward as valid existing management, one 
allotment for lack of base property, two allotments 
closed due to conflicts with riparian management, and 



the Meadow Valley Wash and Virgin River floodplain 
and riparian zones. 

This action would close five currently active 
allotments to livestock grazing and put up to nine 
operators out of business. Since the Lower Mormon 
Mesa Allotment was not included as critical desert 
tortoise habitat, it would not be closed to livestock 
grazing from March 1 to June 14. However, the 
utilization restrictions of would apply. Use during the 
spring would maintain the permittee's current 
operation. 

From Wild Horse and Burro Management 
Wild horses and burros in two different Herd 
Management Areas (Muddy Mountains and Johnnie) 
would continue to directly compete with livestock for 
forage, water, and space on three grazing allotments 
(Mount Stirling, Wheeler Wash, and White Basin.) If 
wild horse and burro numbers are maintained in a 
thriving natural ecological balance, the impact to 
livestock grazing would be the loss of forage to wild 
horses and burros that would otherwise be available 
for livestock. Numbers could also be restricted based 
on available water capacity at spring sources or 
reduced during drought conditions to meet riparian 
objectives. 



Wild Horse and Burro Management 

From Air, Soils, and Water Management 
In the short term, management actions to protect or 
improve soil and water resources may impact wild 
horse and burro management by requiring a reduction 
in wild horse or burro numbers. This would allow for 
recovery of vegetation and stabilization of soil, 
especially in riparian areas. Over the long term, these 
actions would reduce indirect impacts on wild horses 
and burros by improving the overall forage condition 
and water quality and quantity within Herd 
Management Areas. This would lead to healthier 
animals and habitat in the long term. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Management of threatened and endangered species 
could have major impacts on wild horse and burro 
management. In extreme cases such as Ash 
Meadows, wild horse and burros would continue to be 
excluded from areas where they were present in 1971 
in an effort to protect and ensure recovery of 
threatened and endangered plant species unique to the 
Ash Meadows ecosystem. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Designation of desert tortoise Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern would require removal of all 
wild horses and burros from the Eldorado Herd 
Management Area. This would increase to three the 
number of Herd Management Areas with a 
Appropriate Management Level. The remaining three 
Herd Management Areas would require that an 
Appropriate Management Level be set, as shown in 
Table 2-9. Managing for the appropriate 
management level would enhance animal and 
vegetative health in the long term. 

From Lands Management - Pre-FLPMA Rights-of- 
Wav 

Some rights-of-way issued prior to the Federal Land 
Policy Management Act did not define specific 
requirements to provide for wild horse and burro 
movement across fenced highways. Any fence 
constructed along a highway without an underpass to 
allow passage for wild horses and burros would 
substantially restrict animal movement. Wild horses 
and burros could become confused and disoriented, 
causing some to run into the fences, sustaining 
injuries, and damaging the fence. Fencing highways 
would hinder current animal trailing patterns and 
possibly eliminate access to needed water sources. 
Animals could also be concentrated in smaller areas, 
thus adding additional stress to the habitat. Any 
fencing of highways without underpasses could 
require development of additional water to ensure 
animals do not die of thirst. 



Cultural Resource Management 

The definition of impacts to cultural resources has a 
conceptual range from maximum to minimum 
disturbance. The maximum disturbance orientation 
defines impacts to cultural resources as limited to the 
destruction of those qualities that would qualify the 
resources as eligible for nomination to the National 
Register of Historic Places (NRHP). In such cases, 
adverse impacts can be mitigated through consultation 
under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act. For example, casual collection of a 
few artifacts on the surface within an aboriginally 
used shelter that possesses a meter of stratigraphic 
deposition would not affect the eligibility potential for 
yielding important data that can add to the knowledge 
of regional prehistory (36 CFR 60.4). If the shelter 
was destroyed through permitting a Federal action, 
then a data recovery plan could presumably mitigate 
those impacts or effects. 



The minimal disturbance reference point states that 
any change to a cultural resource as a consequence of 
human actions, no matter how seemingly small, 
constitutes an effect. For instance, when an 
archeological property is discovered by people, a 
cycle of impacts is initiated. These impacts may 
simply consist of disturbing spiritual or intangible 
cultural values considered by Native Americans or 
other interested parties as belonging to the objects, 
features, or the surrounding area. Removal of any 
artifacts could be considered as dismembering the 
cultural property. Conducting a data recovery of the 
artifacts, charcoal samples, and biological materials at 
the shelter site proposed for destruction would not 
mitigate the adverse effects, rather, attempt to reduce 
the degree of impact. Section 106 consultation 
provides professional guidance to salvage a sample of 
physical objects and impressions, but does not erase 
the fact that the site was destroyed. 

The assessment of impacts for cultural resources in 
this plan assumes a minimal disturbance reference. 
This assessment was determined through the 
professional judgement of the cultural resource 
manager. A cycle of impacts begins when a site is 
changed by removal or disturbance as a consequence 
of the evaluation or disposal phase involved in 
processing a Federal action. The only situations 
where impacts would be considered as improvements 
are those that provide direct protection through 
preservation and stabilization. All other changes are 
considered to be damaging to cultural resources. 
Substantial impacts are those where an action or a 
group of similar actions affect a relatively large 
number of eligible cultural resource properties. 
Examples of these kinds of whole scale 
environmentally reviewed actions include the 
processing and approval of mining plans of operations 
under the framework of this plan. 

From Fish and Wildlife Management 
Designation of 1,005,031 acres as Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern would aid in the preservation 
of 2,100 eligible sites by restricting and inhibiting 
potentially threatening actions. 

From Forestry Management 

The development of a woodland management plan in 
the Pahrump Valley has the potential to affect 200 
sites. This would constitute a significant impact on 
cultural resources. 



4-24 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



From Livestock Grazing Management 
Continuation of livestock grazing on approximately 
610,893 acres of public lands and construction of 
rangeland improvements would have the potential to 
affect 1,255 eligible sites. Effects could include 
trampling of sites by cattle, surface disturbance from 
vehicles used by permittees, and destruction of sites 
during range improvement construction. In particular, 
the integrity of archaeological districts in the Muddy 
Mountains and McCullough Mountains could be 
sacrificed. 

From Lands Management 
The availability for disposal of approximately 
1,022,314 acres of public land through sales, leases, 
and rights-of-way has the potential to affect 2,100 
eligible sites. The withdrawal of 114,000 acres from 
leases, permits, and disposal would aid in preservation 
of approximately 245 archaeological properties. The 
potential for substantial impacts to cultural resources 
would be present under this alternative. 

From Rights-of-way Management 
Designation of 157,761 acres of corridors for 
transmission systems and facilities in Clark and Nye 
Counties has the potential to affect 200 eligible sites. 
Although utility corridor designation would protect a 
large number of eligible properties from impacts, 
potential effects to 200 sites would constitute a 
significant impact to cultural resources. 

From Recreation Management 
Approximately 20 eligible sites could be affected by 
designation of 9,180 acres as open for off -road 
vehicle use areas. Zones that would be open are 
evaluated as having medium to low sensitivity for 
cultural resources, based on limited survey. 

From Wilderness Management 
Management of Wilderness Study Areas would reduce 
the impacts to cultural resources by prohibiting new 
access roads and limiting lands, minerals and 
recreation uses. 

From Minerals Management 

Encouragement of fluid, locatable, saleable, and non- 
energy leasable mineral development within 
approximately 80 percent of the planning area has the 
potential to affect 7,500 eligible sites. Effects could 
include total disturbance of properties during seismic 
testing, open pit mining, opening of previously 
inaccessible areas, and the direct and purposeful 
mining of historic and prehistoric sites imder the 
concept of exploration. The minerals program has the 



potential for significant impacts to cultural resources. 

Approximately 960,000 acres of Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern require minerals actions to 
achieve compliance with the National Historic 
Preservation Act. While these restrictions limit 
untreated destruction of cultural values, the 
consumptive nature of mining operations would 
require scientific removal of archaeological data, thus 
causing irrevocable and irretrievable impacts to 
eligible cultural resources. 



Lands Management 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Under The Plan, 9,423 acres of BLM inholdings 
within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge 
boundary could be taken out of multiple-use 
management and transferred to the US Fish and 
Wildlife Service. 

Indirect impacts include no land disposals allowed, 
avoidance of sensitive and threatened and endangered 
species habitat, as well as exclusion of rights-of-way 
in some limited areas. This would lead to potential 
increases in the cost of project completion, as well as 
closing these areas to most forms of development. 

From Sensitive Species 

Impacts could include relocation of a lands project or 
depending on the sensitivity of the species, avoidance 
of the species or even denial of lands action. 
Additional coordination with the Nevada Division of 
Wildlife would be required for species identified as 
endangered by State law. All these impacts would 
cause delays in application processing, potentially 
resulting in project timeline overruns, development of 
species specific mitigation measures, and increased 
expense for the applicant. 

From Lands Management 

Lease Areas. Airport leases would be authorized on 
an as-needed basis, providing communities with 
airport facilities which they could not otherwise afford 
to purchase. These lands would not be available for 
residential developments. However, commercial 
industries could potentially be developed within the 
lease areas. 

Recreation and Public Purpose leases would be 
authorized within disposal areas to enhance 
communities by providing lands at less than fair 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



market value. Leases may be authorized for schools, 
libraries, community centers, parks, public golf 
courses, fire stations, churches, community buildings, 
law enforcement facilities, correctional institutions and 
water and sewage treatment facilities. 

Withdrawals. Approximately 18,250 acres of public 
land within the planning area would continue to be 
encumbered by Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission withdrawals. The filing of an 
application for a preliminary permit with the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission automatically 
segregates the lands from the public land laws, 
pending the authorization of a licensed hydropower 
project. These lands can not be used for any other 
purpose. 

From Rights-of-Way Management 
Under The Plan, approximately 157,761 acres of 
public lands would be designated for utility corridors. 
Designation of corridors would lessen the 
encumbrances incurred on public lands by randomly 
placed, single-use lines. The potential exists for a 
loss of approximately 2,309 acres of public land 
identified for discretionary disposal. These corridors 
would be limited to very specific types of rights-of- 
way, with no other uses considered. Hazardous 
materials contamination of the soil, water, or air may 
result in degradation of fish and wildlife habitat. 
Appropriate Hazardous material planning and response 
will minimize these impacts. 

From Acquisition 

Acquisition of riparian areas and desert tortoise 
habitat, as well as sensitive species habitat, will 
enhance the BLMs efforts to ensure protection of 
these ecosystems. 

Any acquisition of riparian habitat that is infested 
with Tamarisk would be identified for restoration 
through removal of Tamarisk. The potential for 
private individuals to control Tamarisk-infested lands 
is limited. Therefore, a seed source would continue to 
exist, which would lead to continued or additional 
infestations of Tamarisk on adjacent public lands. 

Acquisition of sensitive species habitat would 
indirectly assist in ensuring all possible actions could 
be taken to avoid listing of additional species as 
threatened or endangered. 

From Minerals Management 

Mineral entry and development encumbers the land 

and lowers the appraisal values. High potential 



mineral value could also preclude disposal of the 
lands. Other important influences on the lands 
disposal program include so-called "nuisance" claims, 
filed on lands known for their high sale value. In 
cases where the mining claimant refuses to relinquish 
the claims, the individual or agency applying for the 
land disposal could be forced to buy out the 
claimant. Processing of validity tests, a mechanism 
for ridding sale parcels of "nuisance" claims, would 
be expensive and time-consuming. 



Rights-of-Way Management 

From Visual Resource Management 
There would be minimal impacts to the right-of-way 
program. In Visual Resource Management Class II 
areas (approximately 968,890 acres) and Class III 
areas (approximately 1,727,870 acres), rights-of-way 
would be relocated as necessary, buried, or painted a 
color compatible with their surroundings to ensure 
scenic integrity. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Within Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, 
rights-of-way for new roads would be in response to 
specific authorized actions only or to ensure access to 
private property. Reclamation of temporary roads 
authorized through the right-of-way process would be 
required. (Right-of-way exclusion and avoidance 
areas are discussed under Rights-of-Way section 
above). 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Relocation of proposed project sites or Section 7 
consultation would occur, as required, to reduce 
impacts to threatened and endangered species and 
their habitat. To prevent undue and unnecessary 
degradation of bighorn sheep lambing habitat, no new 
road construction will be authorized through the right- 
of-way program in those areas. 

From Rights-of-Way Management 
Under The Plan, approximately 538 miles of utility 
corridors would be designated, totaling 157,761 
acres of public lands. Corridors would range from 
1,000 to 3,000 feet in width. Minimizing the 
proliferation of randomly placed, single-use utility 
lines would better protect the scenic values and 
integrity of the surrounding areas. Although utility 
rights-of-way would not be limited to designated 
corridors, all efforts would be focused on utilizing 
corridors whenever possible and to their maximum 
capacity. Prospective right-of-way holders would 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



conserve costs through the use of existing data for 
environmental compliance analysis. In some 
instances, location and size of designated corridors 
could cause minimal impacts to other land uses or 
projects in the area not compatible with corridor use. 

Authorization of future communication site rights-of- 
way would be limited to existing established sites, 
within existing rights-of-way, related buildings, and 
communication facilities until a site management plan 
has been approved for that site. This would help 
eliminate the proliferation of scattered single-user sites 
and lessen further administrative impacts to 
established communication sites. 

Within the Las Vegas BLM District, there are 178 
material site rights-of-way, totaling approximately 
15,842 acres. No new material site rights-of-way 
would be authorized until the following are 
completed: 

• Incorporate the terms and conditions for material 
site rights-of-way contained in Appendix M in all 
new material site rights-of-way 

• Coordinate with the Nevada Department of 
Transportation and evaluate the need for existing 
sites. 

• Encourage the Nevada Department of 
Transportation to relinquish sites no longer needed. 

• Receive justification by the Nevada Department of 
Transportation for continued use of existing sites 
or need for additional sites. 

Unnecessary, randomly-placed, and unmanaged 
material site rights-of-way that encumber public lands 
otherwise valuable for disposal or lease would not 
continue to proliferate. 

Designation of rights-of-way exclusion areas would 
constitute a loss of 5,640 acres of public land 
available for linear rights-of-way and a loss of 
1,005,031 acres of public land available for site type 
rights-of-way (excluding existing established 
communication sites). 

Designation of rights-of-way avoidance areas would 
constitute a potential loss of 1,011,069 acres of public 
land available for all types of rights-of-way. 

From Wilderness Management 
No rights-of-way could be authorized within the 
Sunrise Instant Study Area, unless it is released from 
further wilderness consideration. Due to the fact this 
is the only area where large powerlines (500-kV and 
higher) can pass into the Las Vegas Valley, long 



delays in application approval would be expected if 
Congress does not release the area from Wilderness 
consideration. 



Acquisitions Management 

Consideration would be given to acquiring 
undeveloped private lands within all designated Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern, sensitive species 
habitat, and the Aerojet Lands. These lands would be 
included within applicable designated Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern to enhance the integrity of 
each Area of Critical Environmental Concern, as well 
as provide additional management opportunities to 
protect the values within each area. 



Recreation Management 

From Air, Soil, and Water Management 
Construction of reservoirs, spring developments, and 
bighorn and upland game guzzlers would affect 
opportunities for semi-primitive nonmotorized 
recreation opportunities, depending on locations, by 
limiting or closing access to protect the soil and water 
resources. These same developments could increase 
opportunities for hunting, wildlife viewing and 
photography upon habitat improvement. Increased 
development of water sources could increase visitor 
days for hunting by 10 percent or up to 36,000 visitor 
days per year. Off-road vehicle events would be 
eliminated from traditional courses within the non- 
attainment area, with the exception of Nellis Dunes. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
Management of these areas would eliminate off-road 
vehicle speed competitive events on 1,005,031 acres. 
The following historically held events would be 
directly affected: five motorcycle events in the Piute 
Valley, and a motorcycle event in the Mormon 
Mesa/Moapa area. Approximately 750 participants 
(racers, pit crew members, and families), and 1,000 
non race-related spectators per year would be 
impacted. Users would be displaced to other areas, 
including the Nelson Hills, the Mount Stirling area, 
Jean Lake/Roach Lake Special Recreation 
Management Area, Dry Lake Valley, and Nellis 
Dunes Special Recreation Management Area. This 
displacement could increase use in the Nelson Hills by 
25 percent; the Jean Lake/Roach Lake Special 
Recreation Management Area and the Dry Lake 
Valley area by 25 percent, and in the Pahrump and 



4-27 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Nellis Dunes Special Recreation Management Area by 
15 percent. 

Casual off-road vehicle use would be limited to 
designated roads arid trails on 743,209 acres of 
tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. An 
additional 3,360 acres would be closed to all 
motorized uses in Hidden Valley Area of Critical 
Environmental Concern. This is not a change from 
the no action, because Hidden Valley is currently 
closed. 

Management stipulations developed for non-speed 
organized rides and events passing through areas of 
critical environmental concern will allow a greater 
opportunity for recreation. The current situation 
where each proposed use must be individually 
analyzed by BLM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service will end. Ride organizers and the public will 
have more assurance of what BLM will allow and 
permit. Grandfathered provisions for the larger 
historically run events will provide a continuity of use. 
The impact of area of critical environmental concern 
designation "landlocking" Mesquite will be partially 
relieved. 

The temporary reduction in the number of non-speed 
events and entrants allowed in tortoise Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern during the tortoise 
active season for an initial three year monitoring 
program should not adversely impact non-speed 
activities. While non-speed events are seen as 
growing in number and demand in the future, the 
current use does not exceed the temporary limits. 
However, should the temporary limits be made 
permanent as a result of monitoring, there would be 
an adverse impact on the future growth of non-speed 
events. The one-for-two provision, allowing events 
historically held during the active season with entrants 
in excess of 100 (the temporary limit is 75), such as 
the Silver State 300, which otherwise would not be 
allowed, provides a great degree of flexibility without 
increasing the level of use in areas of critical 
environmental concern. Under this provision, an 
event with entrants in excess of the allowed limit can 
be authorized if it is counted as two events of the 
allowable total. Therefore, overall use levels are not 
increased. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Manasement 
Opportunities for competitive speed based off-road 
vehicle events would be lost on approximately 
1 F 43, ,209 acres of public lands within the planning area 
due to restrictions imposed in Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern managed for the recovery of 



the desert tortoise. This loss of opportunity would 
displace users to other areas such as the Jean/Roach 
Special Recreation Management Area, Pahrump 
Valley, Laughlin, and the Nellis Dunes Special 
Recreation Management Area. Use would be 
anticipated to increase by 15 percent or more in the 
Nellis Dunes, at least 25 percent in the Jean/Roach 
Special Recreation Management Area, at least 15 
percent in the Pahrump Valley and Laughlin areas. 
Based on current volume, 5 to 10 percent of special 
recreation permit applications would either be denied 
or canceled due to time and resource constraints 
associated with protection of sensitive species habitat. 
Some of this impact has already occurred due to 
restrictions implemented as part of the tortoise 
recovery plan. 

Off-road vehicle touring and free-play, hunting, 
camping, picnicking, and other recreational 
competitive and commercial activities could be 
restricted, eliminated, or displaced to other areas due 
to limitations and closures designed to protect desert 
tortoise habitat. Road designations in desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern could 
directly affect 10 percent of all visitor use in the 
planning area (or approximately 173,772 visitor days). 

Closure of approximately 200 acres within the Big 
Dune Area of Critical Environmental Concern to off- 
road vehicle activity for protection of crucial beetle 
habitat would eliminate this area from any future off- 
road vehicle use. It may also displace current users to 
other locations such as the Dumont Dunes in 
California. 

From Lands Manasement 
Disposal of land within the Las Vegas Valley will 
further displace public land users who feel they are 
being pushed farther and farther away from Las 
Vegas. While this is definitely occurring, the 
development of large blocks of private lands used 
interchangeably with BLM lands by the public is 
addling to this problem. 

From Rishts-of-Way Manasement 
If designated rights-of-way corridors are developed, 
semi-primitive nonmotorized and semi-primitive 
motorized recreation opportunities could be limited 
throughout the planning area by potential restrictions 
of exclusive use rights-of-way. While increased 
access could increase opportunities for hunting, 
camping, and off-road vehicle touring, racing, and 
free-play, there could be a loss of more primitive 
recreational settings. It would be more difficult to 
avoid the sights and sounds of human activities. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Avoidance of riglits-of ways on 3,200 acres would 
ensure protection of significant cave and karst 
resources. 

From Recreation Management 
Areas designated as Special Recreation Management 
Areas would be managed to ensure that recreation 
opportunities are maintained in the long-term and to 
resolve conflicts between users and with other 
resource values. The area designated as an Extensive 
Recreation Management Area would be managed to 
ensure that dispersed recreation opportunities are 
maintained in the long term. 

Designation of Special Recreation Management Areas 
would focus BLM efforts on opportunities available in 
these areas. The explosive growth in southern 
Nevada could increase recreation use by 
approximately 40 percent or 579,240 visitor days per 
year (total visitor days could exceed 3,475,456 visitor 
days annually) within the next decade. 
Adoption of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 
inventory as a long-term condition to be retained 
would help maintain the settings in which recreational 
activities take place. A wide range of recreational 
opportunities would be possible. Recreational visitors 
could expect to find areas to experience primitive 
opportunities away from human impacts, as well as 
areas with improvements and actions taken to 
facilitate other opportunities. 

Less than one percent of the planning area would be 
designated open for unrestricted off-road vehicle use 
(47 percent presently open) and less than 1 percent or 
3,560 acres (no measurable change) would be closed 
to all motorized use. The impact of limited use 
designations would be; 69 percent (51 percent 
presently) or 2,460,100 acres would be limited to 
existing roads, trails, and dry washes while 30 percent 
(2 percent presently) or 1,079,930 acres would be 
limited to designated roads and trails. Overall impact 
to users would be minimal from these designations, 
since very little of the planning area is used for cross- 
country (off existing roads, trails, and dry washes) 
travel due either to rough terrain or restrictions in 
place to protect desert tortoise habitat. 

The availability of public lands for competitive off- 
road vehicle events would be significantly reduced. 
Much of this reduced availability has already taken 
place as part of implementing the desert tortoise 
recovery plan and is merely being formalized in this 
Resource Management Plan. Off-road vehicle events 
could be allowed in Nellis Dunes, Jean/Roach Dry 



Lakes, Crater Flats area, Pahrump Valley to Beatty 
area, Laughlin area, Muddy Mountains area, Wheeler 
Wash area, Last Chance Range, Amargosa Valley, 
Nelson Hills area, and Eldorado Valley (outside of the 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern). 

The population growth of southern Nevada would 
continue to increase the demand for recreational 
opportunities in the planning area. This demand 
would primarily affect lands surrounding population 
centers such as Las Vegas, Laughlin, Mesquite, 
Boulder City, and Pahrump. Outlying areas would 
also receive greater demand from people seeking 
solitude from urbanization. Visitation is anticipated to 
increase by 20 percent or 289,620 visits within the 
next decade (total visitor days per year would equal 
approximately 3,185,820). This increase is projected 
to occur whether BLM provides additional 
opportunities or not. 

Recreational shooters, equestrian riders, hikers, 
bicyclists, off-road vehicle recreationists, and other 
passive recreation users of public land would be 
directed to areas appropriate for their particular use, or 
where uses would be compatible. The Sunrise 
Mountain area would be managed for more 
compatible recreation opportunities, helping to 
eliminate the impacts associated with recreational 
shooters and illegal dumping. 

Recreation Activity Management Plans developed for 
Special Recreation Management Areas would improve 
recreation management in areas of heavy, and 
potentially conflicting, recreational uses. Heavy uses 
in sensitive locations (tortoise habitat and 
archaeological sites) and overcrowding would be 
avoided through advanced planning. 

The resource integrity and quality of area caves could 
be enhanced through active management, educational 
information dissemination to the public, and the 
creation of a greater sensitivity for cave and karst 
resources. This should lead to decreased vandalism 
and decreased long-term degradation. 

From Minerals Management 
Under this alternative, approximately 20 percent 
(55,314 acres) of all lands that afford opportunities for 
semi-primitive recreation would be open to mineral 
exploration and development. Opportunities for semi- 
primitive recreation, including hiking and horseback 
riding, would be eliminated as new roads are 
constructed and increased traffic compromises the 
primitive character of the landscape. Significant caves 



4-29 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

would continue to be protected by stipulations and 
through withdrawals from locatable mineral entry. 

All 10,000 acres of the Nellis Dunes Special 
Recreation Management Area would be closed to all 
forms of mineral surface disturbance from prospecting, 
exploration and mineral development. 

Within the Keyhole Canyon area, 361 acres would be 
closed to all forms of surface disturbance from 
mineral development to protect important cultural, 
recreation, and aesthetic values. 



Wild and Scenic Rivers Management 

Motorized vehicle restrictions, mineral withdrawals, 
no land disposals, and rights-of-way avoidance along 
the Virgin River as part of implementing the Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern designation would 
protect the scenic, riparian, wildlife, and natural values 
along the river throughout the life of the Plan. If the 
river is not designated as a Recreational (Wild and 
Scenic) River, its scenic, riparian, wildlife, and natural 
values would remain protected through the same 
above-mentioned actions. 



Wilderness Management 

From Minerals Management 
Mineral activities in Wilderness Study Areas would 
continue to be managed under the Interim 
Management Policy guidance until Congressional 
designation or release. In those Wilderness Study 
Areas that are not designated as wilderness (based on 
Congress' acceptance of the BLM's 
recommendations), minerals extraction would be 
limited by the mineral values present and the 
economics of development. Locatable mineral 
development, oil and gas exploration and 
development, and mineral material sales could impact 
up to 2,000 acres; viable operations would likely be 
large scale or open pit mines. Locatable non-metallic 
minerals would potentially be developed in the 
Resting Springs, Muddy Mountains, Arrow Canyon, 
and South McCullough Wilderness Study Areas. 

Following release from wilderness study, mineral 
material sales could occur in the Nellis 1, 2, and 3 
Wilderness Study Areas. Leasing and exploration 
activities would be anticipated for oil and gas with the 
potential for discovery and development in the Muddy 
Mountains, Arrow Canyon, and Mount Stirling 



Wilderness Study Areas. An additional 602 acres of 
long-term impacts on resources from oil and gas 
exploration could be anticipated. Initial geothermal 
investigations could be made in the Resting Springs 
and Muddy Mountains Wilderness Study Areas. If 
minerals developments are located on the peripheries 
of the Wilderness Study Areas, the effects on 
primitive and semi-primitive values would be minimal. 
In the event that mines and facilities were to be 
developed in the interior portions of Wilderness Study 
Areas, the impacts would be detrimental to the areas 
primitive and semi-primitive values. 

Projected potential maximum disturbance in areas 
released from wilderness consideration would be 2,000 
acres, based on oil and gas exploration and production 
(500 acres), the development of one large clay mine 
(500 acres), a large silica mine (500 acres), a 
limestone quarry (200 acres), a gypsum mine (200 
acres), and 20 exploration efforts or small mines 
producing uncommon varieties of stone, sand, or clay 
(100 acres). Mitigation stipulations would lessen the 
impacts to primitive and semi-primitive values, but 
could not eliminate all damage in localized areas. 



Minerals Management 

From Riparian Management 
The proposed withdrawal and no surface occupancy 
direction for approximately 9,010 acres of Riparian 
Management Areas (areas within 0.25 mile of springs 
and their associated riparian zones) would limit 
availability of public lands for mining claim location, 
mineral leasing and mineral material disposal. The 
withdrawal would close approximately 9,010 acres to 
mining claim location, mineral material disposal and 
solid mineral leasing. It would allow fluid mineral 
leasing with the stipulation that no surface occupancy 
occur within the Riparian Management Areas. 

From Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
The proposed withdrawal of 1,005,031 acres as Areas 
of Critical Environmental Concern would close these 
areas to mineral entry. This closure would limit the 
availability of public lands for mining claim location, 
mineral leasing, and mineral material disposal. 

From Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 
Withdrawal of 827,603 acres primarily for desert 
tortoise and special status species habitat protection 
would close approximately 25 percent of the district. 
Special management requirements resulting from 
desert tortoise Area of Critical Environmental Concern 



4-30 



wmamuamamamma^aaK^sa 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



designations would increase the costs of mineral 
operations and reclamation of disturbed areas, possibly 
delaying operations. Required mitigation fees could 
make low-unit value minerals or small-volume, high- 
value minerals economically questionable and have 
the potential for loss of income to operators. 

From Cultural Resource Management 
Mining operations must comply with Section 106 of 
the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). 
Cultural resources within all the designated areas of 
critical environmental concern would be protected by 
the withdrawal of eligible archaeological sites and 
areas from mineral law uses, and through the 
requirement of specific evaluation and treatment prior 
to surface disturbing actions. 

Designations of Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern or areas "closed" to off-road vehicles require 
implementation for inventory and mitigation 
procedures for all mineral exploration actions. The 
designation of Traditional Lifeways Areas requires 
consultation with Native American tribes for all 
actions in those areas on the effects of all mining 
activities. Under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act, cultural resources must be identified 
through adequate inventory actions, evaluation of 
archaeological and cultural sites, determination of 
effect on the properties, and attempts to mitigate 
adverse effects. The procedures could range from 
simple inventory efforts to complex evaluation and 
mitigation activities that could indefinitely delay the 
proposed mineral exploration and recovery actions. 
Such procedures could determine that the project be 
considered economically unfeasible. 

On remaining lands within the district, including the 
420,970 acres of Wilderness Study Areas not 
designated as Wilderness by Congress, BLM would be 
allowed 15 days for inventory and evaluation of 
eligible sites that could be affected by the activities. 
The claimant would be notified of eligible sites and 
the procedures for protection and mitigation. In 
special cases, the process to conduct avoidance or 
mitigative activities could necessitate delays in mining 
operations. 

From Lands Management 
If the salable mineral estate is sold along with the 
surface estate, disposal of 175,314 acres within the 
district would decrease the availability of silt to the 
landscape industry, as well as sand and gravel to the 
building industry. Construction of housing and other 
structures on these lands would increase the demand 



for silt, sand, and gravel, which would already be in 
short supply within the Las Vegas Valley. 

Existing classifications, withdrawals, and segregation 
(CW&S), which total approximately 166 and affect 
approximately 434,055 acres, limit the availability of 
public lands for mining claim location, mineral 
leasing, and mineral material disposals. 

From Rights-of-way Management 
Lands affected by material site rights-of-way are 
effectively withdrawn from entry and location under 
the mining law. Approximately 181 material site 
rights-of-way exist accounting for 15,842 acres. 

From Recreation Management 
Designation of two areas comprising approximately 
3,560 acres as closed to off-highway vehicle use 
would require that a plan of operation be approved 
prior to commencing any mining operation, except 
casual use in those areas. Closure of Nellis Dunes, 
approximately 10,000 acres, to mining would close 
that area to solids, mining claim location, and mineral 
material disposals. It would allow fluid mineral 
leasing with the stipulation that no surface occupancy 
occur. 

From Wild and Scenic Rivers Management 
Designation of the Virgin River for addition to, or as 
an actual component of, the national wild and scenic 
rivers system would require approval of a plan of 
operation prior to commencing any mining operation 
except casual use in that area. However, under 
management direction for riparian areas, the Virgin 
River Area of Critical Environmental Concern would 
be withdrawn. 

From Wilderness Management 
Pending a decision by Congress as to the suitability of 
Wilderness Study Areas as Wilderness, no 
unnecessary or undue degradation of these lands will 
be permitted. The wilderness study areas comprise 
approximately 420,970 acres. 

From Minerals Materials Management 
Mineral material disposals can not be made from 
those public lands containing mining claims that have 
not been cancelled. This limits the availability of 
public lands for issuance of material sales contracts 
and free use permits. 



4-31 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Fire Management 

From Air. Soil and Water Management 
Fire suppression activities within the Las Vegas 
Valley Non-Attainment Area would continue to be 
managed to keep fire size to a maximum of 10 acres 
90 percent of the time. This guidance would 
minimize impacts to air quality, from primarily 
particulates and haze. Use of fire suppression foams, 
penetrants, and retardants would continue to be 
prohibited in the immediate area surrounding water 
sources. To reduce other impacts to soil and water 
resources from fire suppression activities, mitigation 
measures would be developed on a case-by-case basis, 
utilizing Resource Advisors in coordination with fire 
management specialists. Such mitigation could 
include requiring that a fire line in a critical erosion 
area be constructed using only hand tools. 

From Wilderness Management 
Fire suppression activities in wilderness study areas 
would continue to be managed to keep fire size to a 
maximum of 100 acres 90 percent of time to minimize 
detrimental impacts to resources. All fire suppression 
activities must be conducted so as to comply with the 
non-impairment criteria in the Interim Management 
Policy. 

Prescribed burning for resource enhancement purposes 
would be allowed only on 56,721 acres in the Virgin 
Mountain Instant Study Area, the North and South 
McCullough Mountains Wilderness Study Areas (see 
Map 2-11). A programmatic fire burn plan and an 
Environmental Assessment would be prepared for 
each resource enhancement area prior to the 
authorization of any prescribed burn. Subsequent 
prescribed burns would be authorized without further 
environmental documentation, provided that the terms 
and conditions of the programmatic burn plan and an 
Environmental Assessment are met and the authorized 
officer or manager concurs. 

Prescribed burning for fuel reduction purposes would 
be allowed only on 44,343 acres in the Virgin 
Mountain Instant Study Area and the North and South 
McCullough Mountains Wilderness Study Areas (see 
Map 2-11). A programmatic fire burn plan and an 
environmental assessment would be prepared for each 
fuel hazard reduction area prior to the authorization of 
any prescribed burn. Subsequent prescribed burns 
would be authorized without further environmental 
documentation, provided that the terms and conditions 
of the programmatic burn plan and an environmental 
assessment are met and the authorized officer or 
manager concurs. 



From Fire Management 

Prescribed burning for resource enhancement purposes 
would only be allowed on 163,482 acres in the Ash 
Meadows/Amargosa Flat area, the Gold Butte grazing 
allotment, the Virgin River floodplains, and South 
McCullough Mountains (see Map 2-11). A 
programmatic fire burn plan and an environmental 
assessment would be prepared for each resource 
enhancement area prior to the authorization of any 
prescribed burning. 

Subsequent prescribed burns would be authorized 
without further environmental documentation, 
provided that terms and conditions of the 
programmatic burn plan and the environmental 
assessment are met and the authorized officer manager 
concurs. 

Prescribed burning for fire fuels hazard reduction 
purposes would be allowed only on 95,516 acres in 
the Spring Mountains, South McCullough Mountains, 
and Virgin Mountains (see Map 2-11). A 
programmatic fire burn plan and an environmental 
assessment would be prepared for each fuel hazard 
reduction area prior to the authorization of any 
prescribed burn. Subsequent prescribed burns would 
be authorized without further environmental 
documentation, provided that the terms and conditions 
of the programmatic burn plan and the Environmental 
Assessment are met and the authorized officer 
concurs. 

From Hazardous Materials Management 
Prescribed burns will not be conducted near sites 
where hazardous materials are known to exist, 
including millsites and dump areas. 

Socioeconomic Values 

From Livestock Grazing Management 
The economic impact of livestock grazing closure in 
critical desert tortoise habitat would include the loss 
of all gross income ($229,482) to the regional 
economy. Gross income was estimated based on 
marketing of yearling calves at an average market 
weight of 500 pounds, with an average value per 
pound of $.90. Average calf crops of 80 percent were 
used and a ratio of one bull for 20 cows. Loss to 1 1 
operators, based on a 4 percent net profit on gross 
income, would be estimated at $9,179. Specific 
information on profit or loss to operators as a result of 
livestock grazing closures is unknown. Individual 
operators may have higher or lower net profits, 
depending on a number of variables which range from 



4-32 



— — ™"^——^T ■■ ■ - . .'WmtauBm 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



■'". ■ 



weather and range conditions to herd management 
strategies. 

Thirteen operators are currently grazing 879 cattle and 
16 horses on approximately 605,000 acres, with 7,424 
Animal Unit Months. The current gross economic 
livestock production of Federal lands in the planning 
unit is estimated to be $342,871. Closure of grazing 
on critical habitat would reduce the number of active 
operators to five, grazing 295 cattle and 8 horses 
(2,601 Animal Unit Months) on approximately 
329,000 acres. 

If six currently inactive allotments were reactivated, 
660 cattle and 1 1 horses (6,740 Animal Unit Months) 
could graze on approximately 608,453 acres. The 
projected gross would be $293,827, with a total net 
income to operators of $11,750. This would be 
reduced to $113,389, upon closure of five additional 
active allotments. 



Cumulative Impacts 

Cumulative impacts are those impacts that result from 
the incremental impact of an action, decision, or 
project in combination with other past, present, and 
reasonable foreseeable future actions, regardless of the 
agency (Federal or non-federal) or person undertaking 
such other actions. Cumulative impacts can result 
from individually minor but collectively significant 
actions over a period of time, from similar projects or 
actions, and from projects or actions which have 
similar impacts (40 CFR Part 1508.7). 

Parameters 

The parameters for cumulative impact analysis are 
used in concert with the assumptions for analysis 
identified in Chapter 4. These focus and direct the 
analysis effort to ensure that adequate information will 
be gathered and analyzed to make a reasoned decision. 

The cumulative impact analysis is limited to the 
anticipated effective life of The Plan, which is 20 
years. 

Air, water, desert tortoise habitat, cultural resources, 
lands, and recreation are the only resources discussed 
in the cumulative impact analysis. These resources are 
affected by both private and BLM actions and are 
subject to cumulative impacts. The Plan analysis of 
impacts was limited to BLM actions. 



Cumulative impacts to air resources are analyzed only 
within the Las Vegas Valley Air Quality Non- 
attainment Area. 

A comprehensive cumulative impacts analysis on the 
desert tortoise for the Northeastern Mojave Recovery 
Unit was completed for the Ely District Caliente 
Management Framework Plan in cooperation with 
Nevada, Arizona and Utah BLM offices. The Las 
Vegas District used this analysis, with minor 
adjustments, to complete the cumulative impact 
analysis on the desert tortoise in the Northeastern 
Mojave Recovery Unit (Appendix I). 

Portions of two additional recovery units are located 
within the administrative boundary of the Las Vegas 
District. These are the Eastern Mojave and Northern 
Colorado Recovery Units. Approximately seventeen 
and one percent are located within the Las Vegas 
District, respectively. The vast majority of the 
recovery units are within California. 

Management objectives and direction for those 
portions of the Eastern Mojave and Northern Colorado 
Recovery Units located within the Las Vegas BLM 
District are consistent with those management 
objectives and direction identified for the Northeastern 
Mojave Recovery Unit. There is a clear link to the 
cumulative impact analysis for the Northeastern 
Mojave Recovery Unit, based on consistency in 
management objectives and direction, the Critical 
Desert Tortoise Habitat designations, proposal for 
Desert Tortoise Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, and the Clark County's Habitat Conservation 
Plan recommendations. 

Because of this consistency in management direction 
between recovery units, and the relatively small area 
of these other recovery units within the Las Vegas 
BLM District, detailed analysis of cumulative effects 
within the Eastern Mojave and Northern Colorado 
Recovery Units will not be completed as part of this 
Proposed Resource Management Plan. Cumulative 
effects on the Eastern Mojave and Northern Colorado 
Recovery Units will be analyzed during development 
of Recovery Plan implementation strategies for those 
Recovery Units. 

Increases in population generally lead to increased 
impacts on public land from both authorized uses 
(such as rights-of way) and unauthorized uses (such as 
illegal dumping). Both authorized and unauthorized 
uses increase the possibility of a release of hazardous 
materials. Additionally, urban encroachment near 



4-33 



jg^^^^B^HBH0MU^^HHHB^^^Hmrarani^HBMHK£.. . -. 



iTiiniffimniiiiitiTMnmnM 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

waste site (including hazardous and non-hazardous) 
increase health risks to the public. 



Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable 
Future Actions 

Past and Present Actions 

Past and present actions in the planning area can be 
divided into two categories: BLM actions and all other 
types (including other Federal, state, local government, 
and private actions). 

BLM Actions. Past and present BLM actions and 
BLM-authorized actions are partially identified and 
described in Chapter 3, Affected Environment, and the 
No Action Alternative of the Draft Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. 
Where necessary to support a Reasonable Foreseeable 
Development Scenario, additional information is 
provided. 

Other Actions. Other past and present actions in the 
planning area would be difficult, if not impossible, to 
accurately describe in this document. All private 
actions that would likely contribute to the cumulative 
impacts are assumed to have required some type of 
governmental approval and would, therefore, appear 
within the records of the various Federal, state, and 
local government offices. 

Actions by local governments are directly tied to 
either the above-mentioned private actions or to BLM 
actions. Clark County, Nye County, and the 
incorporated cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, 
Henderson, Boulder City, and Mesquite have different 
real property bases. In terms of their cumulative 
impacts, the local governments serve as permitting 
agencies for private businesses or individual citizens. 
Local governments acquire the use of public lands at 
nominal costs under the auspices of the Recreation 
and Public Purpose Act, in order to provide facilities 
and services such as schools, parks, and fire stations. 
The impacts of these acquisitions are considered in the 
discussion of past and present BLM actions. 

The following assumptions were used in the 

cumulative analysis: 

♦ Regardless of ownership, the amount of private 
lands developed in the planning area resulted in 
removal of these lands from other uses such as 
wildlife habitat, recreation areas, livestock grazing, 
and in many cases, mineral exploration and 
development. Within the planning area as a whole, 



this acreage (approximately 252,000 acres ) is not 
substantial. In the Las Vegas Valley, however, 
impacts from private land development directly 
result in a loss of habitat (approximately 90,000 
acres). The 90,000 developed acres represent 
approximately 38 percent of the private lands in 
the Las Vegas Valley. 

• The State of Nevada functions primarily in the 
same role as local governments and owns a limited 
amount of real property in the planning area. 
Spring Mountain State Park, Valley of Fire State 
Park, and Floyd Lamb State Park (a total of 
approximately 42,046 acres or one percent of the 
planning area) constitute the real property of the 
State of Nevada in the planning area. 

Reasonably Foreseeable Future Actions 

BLM Actions. The preceding discussion of the 
alternatives identified several different areas to be 
managed for certain uses; acreage figures identified 
for these areas are utilized in this analysis to assess 
cumulative impacts. Reasonably foreseeable future 
actions related to specific on-the-ground activities are 
identified. In some cases, a full development scenario 
is presented. Those reasonably foreseeable future 
actions anticipated to result from BLM-initiated and 
authorized actions are described below by resource or 
program. 



Air, Soil, and Water Resource 
Management 

No reasonably foreseeable future actions are expected 
to occur in the planning area as a result of BLM 
management of air and soil resources. Management 
will continue to emphasize land use restrictions and 
project or site-specific constraints and mitigation. 
Reasonably foreseeable future actions, together with 
past and present actions, are not expected to result in 
unacceptable air quality in any areas outside of the 
existing Non -Attainment Area. 

The water quality of 29 springs is projected to 
improve over the life of the Plan through the 
implementation of protective measures. 



Riparian Management 

Riparian areas associated with 29 springs, 
approximately 15 acres, are projected to improve over 



4-34 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



the life of the Plan through implementation of 
protective measures. Approximately 4 miles of fence 
will be constructed around springs. Approximately 
3,000 acres of Tamarix (salt cedar) will be removed 
along the Muddy and Virgin Rivers as a result of 
coordination efforts with various agencies in 
conjunction with the Moapa Town Board. Small 
infestations will also be removed as part of the 
project's total removal. 



Table 4-3. Proposed fish and wildlife habitat 
improvements. 

Type of Number Estimated 



Big game v 
dev.elopm 



Vegetation Management 

Rehabilitation of approximately 700 acres of disturbed 
areas will occur over the life of the Plan to aid in 
recovery of threatened and endangered species and 
improve their habitat. Management of this resource 
will continue to emphasize land use restrictions, as 
well as project or site-specific constraints and 
mitigation. 



Riparian/aquatic 
improvements 
Tortoise proof 

Standard Fencing 

... Total 



Visual Resource Management 

Approved Visual Resource Management classifications 
would be used to establish management standards for 
the design and development of future projects, and the 
rehabilitation of existing projects in the planning area. 
The visual qualities common to large undeveloped 
open spaces would largely be retained. 



Livestock Grazing Management 

Allotment evaluations were used to identify range 
improvement projects anticipated to be constructed 
during the 20-year span of The Plan (see Table 4-4). 
Livestock grazing would continue to be authorized on 
11 allotments. 



Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management 

Specific projects identified during the development of 
The Plan to improve management of fish and wildlife 
habitat in the planning area are shown in Table 4-3. 



Forestry Management 

Based on recent scientific data, Mesquite woodlands 
are extremely important for survival of numerous 
special status species. It is anticipated that limited 
amounts of firewood would be available for cutting, 
and only to ensure the health of the woodland. No 
wood could be sold until a woodlands management 
plan is completed with required environmental 
documentation. 



Table 4-4. Proposed range improvements. 



Fences 

Cattlegi 

Corral 



Reservoirs 
Wells 
Springs (Rev 



4-35 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Wild Horse and Burro Management 

Three Herd Management Areas would have 
populations, and three would be managed at the 
Appropriate Management Level. All Herd 
Management Areas would initially be managed at the 
established Appropriate Management Level identified 
in Chapter 2. The continued listing of additional 
animals as threatened or endangered species could 
eliminate the majority of wild equids on public lands. 
This worsens a conflict between Federally protected 
species, which may require court action for resolution. 
Specific projects needed for management of wild 
horses and burros will be identified in the Herd 
Management Area Plans. 



Cultural Resource Management 

No reasonably foreseeable future actions are expected 
to occur in the planning area as a result of BLM 
management of cultural resources. Management of 
this resource would continue to emphasize land use 
restrictions and project or site-specific constraints and 
efforts to mitigate adverse effects. 



Lands Management 

The following statistics are based on known data and 
reports using September 1983 through August 1995 as 
base dates. 

Sales 

Three types of land sales are discussed. They are 
Santini-Burton Act, FLPMA Section 203, and 
Recreation and Public Purposes Act sales. 



Santini-Burton Act Sales 

Sales would continue until designated lands have been 
disposed as prescribed by Public Law 96-586. Sales 
would be completed in accordance with Section 203 
of FLPMA, at fair market value, and would occur 
only within the Las Vegas area. Based on historical 
use, sales would range from 1 to 50 acres. Since 
approval of the Clark County Management Framework 
Plan in September of 1983, a total of 2,700 acres were 
patented under the Santini-Burton Act, which is an 
average of 225 acres per year. 



Initial Santini-Burton Act sales were conducted at oral 
auctions, but were not met receptively. Later sales 
were curtailed due to the National Wildlife Federation 
Lawsuit, which has since been resolved in favor of the 
BLM. 

In 1982, closed bid procedures were adopted for 
Santini-Burton Act sales. Sales conducted through 
these procedures were more successful. If the 
program could be actively pursued in future years at a 
maximum of 700 acres per year, the remaining 6,600 
acres identified for disposal under PL. 96-586 would 
be sold by the year 2002. Under the 1992 Interim 
Cooperative Management Agreement between BLM 
and Clark County, it is unlikely this would happen 
unless the Santini-Burton Act area is expanded outside 
the McCarran Airport aircraft noise zone. 



FLPMA Section 203 Sales 

Disposal of public lands would continue within the 
areas identified in The Plan, depending on public 
interest and community need. Sales would occur 
under Section 203 authority at fair market value and 
would occur throughout the planning area. Based on 
historical use, sales would range from 1 to 25 acres, 
40 to 160 acres for medium parcels, and 300 to 5,000 
acres for larger parcels. Smaller parcels usually 
receive higher value per unit appraisals and generate 
more revenue to the Federal government. A total of 
1,754 acres were patented under Section 203 in the 
past 12 years, which equates to an average of 96 acres 
per year. 

These projections, based on previous yearly sales and 
the priority given to Santini-Burtonsales, are shown in 
Table 4-5. With the possible decrease in Santini- 
Burton sales, there may be an increase in FLPMA 
Section 203 sales. The potential also exists for sale of 
public lands rather than exchange to generate monies 
to purchase environmentally sensitive lands for special 
management purposes. The Plan identifies a number 
of public lands for sale that have never been offered 
on the open market. This could stimulate private sale 
requests and speculation by commercial interests 
within the next 20-year period. 



Recreation and Public Purposes Act Leases 

Disposal of public lands would continue within the 
areas identified as available for Recreation and Public 
Purpose actions in The Plan. Disposals would be at 



4-36 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



less than fair market value to accommodate state and 
local government entities and nonprofit organizations 
seeking community facilities that could not otherwise 
be afforded. Based on historical use, sales would 
range from 5 to 15 acres for smaller parcels, 20 to 80 
acres for medium parcels, and 100 to 300 acres for 
larger parcels. A total of 3,597 acres were patented 
under Recreation and Public Purpose in the past 12 
years, which is an average of 300 acres per 
year. Table 4-5 lists projections for the next 20-year 
period (based on Recreation and Public Purpose 
patents issued in previous years), such leases that 
could reach completion of development, and the 
potential for additional public facilities needed due to 
steady growth. 



Leases 

Three types of land leases are discussed below: 

• FLPMA Section 302 

• Recreation and Public Purposes Act 

• Airport leases 

FLPMA Section 302 Leases . Under The Plan, Section 
302 leases or permits would continue to be authorized 
on public lands throughout the Las Vegas BLM 
District. All public lands within the Las Vegas BLM 
District, other than Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, would be available at fair market value to 
meet the needs of growing communities, industry, and 
free enterprise. Section 302 authorizations may also 
be used to resolve suspected trespass. Based on 
historical use, leases/permits would range from 1 to 
50 acres, however one 2,720-acre lease was authorized 
within the District in 1995. This lease was for a law 
enforcement training facility and shooting range. 

Based on previous annual numbers (excluding 1995) 
and the policy of the BLM to dispose of lands through 
sale or exchange rather than encumber them with 
temporary or long-term leases, approximately six 
Section 302 leases for an approximate 50 acres would 
be authorized for the next 20-year period. If the 
District takes a pro-active stand on trespass activity, 
lease at fair market may be a viable resolution. 

Recreation and Public Purposes Act Sales. 
Lease of public lands would continue within the 
planning area on the lands identified as available for 
recreation and public purposes in The Plan. Leases 
would be at less than fair market value to 
accommodate state and local government entities and 
nonprofit organizations seeking community facilities, 



that could not otherwise be afforded. Based on 
historical use, leases would range from 5 to 15 acres 
for small sites, 20 to 80 acres for medium sites, and 
100 to 300 acres for larger sites (see list on Table 4- 
5). 

Airport Leases 

With the exception of Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, all public lands within the planning area are 
available for airport leasing under the Airport Lease 
Act of May 24, 1928, as amended. These lands could 
be leased at less than fair market value to meet the 
need for public airport facilities for small but growing 
communities otherwise unable to afford such lands for 
these facilities. A total of 1,370 acres were leased for 
airport purposes during the last 12-year period. The 
leases ranged from 60 to 860 acres. 

Based on previous years and the current interest in 
certain areas for public airport purposes by Nye and 
Clark counties, approximately 6 airport leases totaling 
2,000 acres will be authorized over the next 20-year 
period. 

Agricultural Entry 

Three types of agricultural entry actions are discussed 
below: 

• Indian Allotments 

• Desert Land Entries 
' Carey Act grants. 

Indian Allotments . 

There would be no Indian Allotments authorized under 
The Plan. Under the No Action Alternative, one 
Indian Allotment consisting of 160 acres was 
authorized in 1984. 

Desert Land Entry 

There would be no Desert Land Entries authorized 
under The Plan. An estimated six leases for an 
approximate total of 2,000 acres are expected to be 
authorized over the next 20-year period. 

Under the No Action Alternative, two Desert Land 
Entries were authorized in 1990 consisting of 498 
acres. 



4-37 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-5. Projections of sales, leases, conveyances, exchanges, withdrawals, and rights-of-way in the 
planning area for the next 20 years. 



I 



14 



I 



ge of Acre. 



■Mi 






25 

5 

W 



100 



A en 



m?p 



Tot 



lit 



fears 



For Indivii 



4-38 



m^tw^^m^^B^^n.-BOT^iWWLiaTOJMaa 



Chapter 4 - Impact Analysis 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-5. Projections of sales, leases, conveyances, exchanges, withdrawals, and rights-of-way in the 
planning area for the next 20 years (continued). 



10 



<M 



Number in 




nge of Acreage 


20 Years 


For Ind 


vidua! Actions 


. 13 




10 to 1,000 



/Range;' 



Line 


ar 


Size 






nitHi :' 


L,ilf£ 


V-: : :"-. : :- 




Total 




dors;] 



.■■40-; ; ; ; 

: : : : 94o : ::^;:,::/ 

and nonenergj 



age 



100 



4-39 



IIIIMIWmHIIMIlF* ml ' mM ™ 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Carey Act 

There would be no Carey Act Grants authorized under 
The Plan. Under the No Action Alternative, there 
were no Carey Act Grants authorized within the Las 
Vegas BLM District. 



Conveyances 

Prior to enactment of FLPMA in 1976, no provisions 
existed for obtaining the subsurface estate with no 
known value with the sale of the surface estate. 
Although FLPMA provided for sale of the subsurface 
estate, until 4 or 5 years after its enactment there was 
no program in place to aggressively pursue 
simultaneous sale of both the surface and subsurface 
estates. In the past 9 or 10 years, the sale of 
subsurface estate of no known value with the surface 
estate was a condition of the sale. This action 
established an awareness by the public of the probable 
availability of the subsurface; more people are 
submitting applications for conveyance of the mineral 
estate on public sale parcels purchased after 1976. It 
is probable that this trend would continue into the 
future, but at a declining rate since both estates are 
being conveyed simultaneously, when appropriate, 
with BLM motion sales. 

Issuance of Section 209 conveyances would be for the 
mineral estate of no known value under the following 
conditions: 1) if Federal ownership precludes 
appropriate non-mineral development, and 2) such 
development is a more beneficial use of the land than 
the mineral development. Based on historical use, 
conveyances would range from 1 .5 to 5 acres for 
small parcels, 10 to 40 acres for medium parcels, and 
50 to 200 acres for large parcels. A total of 214 
acres were patented under FLPMA Section 209 
conveyances in the past 12 years. Based on previous 
years and the fact that both surface and subsurface 
estates are now disposed simultaneously, a gradual 
decline in this type of conveyance could be expected. 
Projections for the next 20-year period are listed in 
Table 4-5. 



Exchanges 

Disposal of lands under the exchange authorities 
would continue as long as the BLM encourages local 
government and private individuals to purchase 
environmentally sensitive lands, or lands rich in 
valuable resources that would enhance Federal land 



management. These lands could then be exchanged 
for public lands within the disposal areas identified in 
The Plan. All exchanges may not occur in the areas 
identified, because interested parties outside the state 
may seek legislative exchange as was done in the 
Nevada-Florida Land Exchange Authorization Act of 
1988 (Aerojet). Historically, exchanges ranged from 
50 to 300 acres for small parcels, 500 to 1,000 acres, 
and 2,000 to 10,000 acres for large parcels. Within 
the past 12 years, however, there was a total of 17,768 
acres of public land disposed under exchange. 

Based on previous years and the actual acreage that 
BLM would prefer to acquire and could realistically 
manage, it is unlikely that a large increase in 
exchanges would be completed. There should be an 
equivalent gain in acreage that is environmentally 
sensitive or rich in valuable resources that would 
enhance Federal land management. Projections for the 
next 20-year period are shown in Table 4-5. 



Withdrawals 

The Plan identifies withdrawals to be completed on 
public lands identified in each of the alternatives. 
Although other Federal agencies have not identified 
lands for withdrawal in this Resource Management 
Plan, based on historical use, it is possible that they 
may request lands to be withdrawn for specific 
projects at a later date. Also, based on historical use, 
withdrawals would range from 10 to 1,000 acres for 
small parcels, 2,000 to 5,000 acres for medium 
parcels, and 6,000 to 20,000 for large parcels. A total 
of 341,373 acres were withdrawn for the use of other 
Federal agencies. Benefitting agencies were the U.S. 
Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Federal Aviation Administration, and 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

Other Bureau of Reclamation lands currently under 
withdrawal are in the process of being relinquished 
back to the BLM. Given the protection allowed by 
designating specific Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern, the potential exists for a decrease in the 
number of withdrawals requested for the protection of 
valuable natural resources. Projections for the next 
20-year period are listed in Table 4-5. 

Rights-of-Way Management 

All requests for rights-of-way on or across public 
lands are not strictly linear or areal. Some rights-of- 
way are a combination of both types. Examples 



4-40 



wiiiimiiiMMiiMM— ^ mamBMaaas 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



include floodwater detention basins and related flood 
control channels; electric power generation stations 
and related transmission lines; water wells and related 
water distribution lines; and communication sites and 
related access roads. Usually the primary use is the 
determining factor in whether a right-of-way is 
categorized as linear or areal. Most rights-of-way 
would occur within the Las Vegas Valley (80 
percent). The others would be in Laughlin (4 
percent), Pahrump (7 percent), Mesquite 
(3 percent), Moapa (3 percent) and Searchlight (3 
percent). 



Linear Rishts-of-Wav 

Requests for linear rights-of-way across public lands 
within the planning area would continue in 
conjunction with private lands development. Rights- 
of-way would include access roads and highways, 
water and power utility lines, sewage lines and flood 
control channels. Based on historical use, future 
rights-of-way would range from 0.5 to 1 acre for 
small projects, 5 to 20 acres for medium projects, and 
100 to 500 acres for large projects. Within the past 
12 years, there were 817 linear rights-of-way 
authorized for a total of 2,979 acres. Projections for 
the next 20-year period are shown in Table 4-5. 



Areal Rishts-of-Way 

Requests for areal (non-linear) rights-of-way on public 
lands within the planning area would continue with 
population growth and the need for co-facilities for 
linear rights-of-way. Rights-of-way would include 
communication sites, flood control basins, water and 
power utility substations, well sites, and sewage 
ponds. Based on historical use, future rights-of-way 
would range from 1 to 5 acres for small projects (such 
as communication sites), 10 to 50 acres for medium 
projects, and 100 to 500 acres for large projects. 
Within the past 12 years, 229 areal rights-of-way were 
authorized for a total of 96,050 acres. Projections for 
the next 20-year period are listed in Table 4-5. 



Recreation Management 

It is anticipated that 680 to 820 competitive off-road 
vehicle events will be authorized on 1,200 to 1,520 
miles of existing courses during the life of the 



Resource Management Plan. An additional 300 
competitive events will be authorized on 10,000 acres 
within the Nellis Dunes Special Recreation 
Management Area; the entire area is anticipated to be 
impacted during the life of the Resource Management 
Plan. 



Wild and Scenic Rivers Management 

The Virgin River would be evaluated for eligibility as 
a Recreational River. Future management of the river 
will depend on the outcome of that inventory and 
evaluation. 



Wilderness Management 

Congress is anticipated to designate some wilderness 
within the planning area. Wilderness Management 
Plans will be developed and implemented for those 
areas designated. Wilderness Study Areas not 
designated by Congress will be released from 
management under the Interim Management Policy 
and be managed according to management direction 
provided in the approved Resource Management Plan. 



Minerals Management 

Reasonably foreseeable future actions resulting from 
BLM management of minerals are described below. 
Several scenarios were designed to discuss the 
complexities for potential Federally-owned minerals 
on public lands. These minerals are categorized as 
locatable, leasable, or salable, depending on the kind 
of mineral. 

Leasable Minerals 

(Disposal is discretionary) - Leasable minerals 
include: 

• All minerals on acquired lands, except saleable 
minerals. 

• All minerals on the Outer Continental Shelf. 

• Geothermal resources and associated by-products. 
Coal, phosphate, oil, and gas. 

• Chlorides, sulfates, carbonates, borates, silicates, 
and nitrates of sodium and potassium. 

• Sulphur in the states of Louisiana and New Mexico. 
Oil shale, native asphalt, solid and semisolid 
bitumen, and bituminous rock, including oil- 



4-41 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

impregnated rock or sands from which oil is 
recoverable only by special treatment after the 
deposit is mined or quarried. 



Locatable Minerals 

(Disposal is nondiscretionary) - Locatable minerals 
include: 

Uncommon varieties of sand, gravel, stone, 

pumice, pumicite, cinders, and exceptional clay. 
• All "valuable mineral deposits" that are locatable 

under the Mining Law of 1 872, except those 

specifically excluded below. 

Salable Minerals 

(Disposal is discretionary) - Salable minerals include: 
Petrified wood and common varieties of sand, 
gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, cinders, and clay. 

All minerals not defined as locatable or leasable. 

Leasable Minerals 

The legal and regulatory framework for issuance and 
management of mineral leases is provided in the 
following: 

• Mineral Leasing Act of February 25, 1920, as 
amended (41 Stat. 437; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). 

• Acquired Lands Act of August 7, 1947 (61 Stat. 
913; 30 U.S.C. 351-359). 

• Geothermal Steam Act of December 24, 1 970 
(84 Stat. 1566; 30 U.S.C. 1001-1025). 

• 43 CFR, 3100 through 3599. 

These regulations apply where public interest exists 
for development of oil, gas, geothermal, coal, and 
non-energy leasable mineral resources. 

Stipulations are attached to leases and permits to 
assure protection of nonmineral resources that are 
susceptible to impacts resulting from the exploration 
and development of leasable mineral resources. 



Fluid Leasable Minerals 

To formulate scenarios, generic "Oil Fields" will be 
developed to understand the potential impacts to 
Federal lands. The model will provide a range of 
projected disturbances and an array of probable land 
uses. In reality, disturbances would vary from oil 
field to oil field. 

Background Description . The entire planning unit is 
located within or adjacent to the geologic overthrust 
belt. This belt extends through the mountain areas of 
the North American continent from Alaska to Central 
America. The belt passes through Wyoming, Utah, 
and Nevada and has been the subject of major 
exploration efforts leading to oil and/or gas production 
in Wyoming, and Utah. Although located within the 
overthrust belt, oil production in Nevada is technically 
considered to be producing from a non-typical (that is, 
non-overthrust) geologic structure. 

In southern Nevada, the geology of the belt is 
extremely complex having been folded, fractured, 
faulted, thrust, and overthrust many times through 
geologic history. Sedimentary rocks that comprise the 
overthrust belt are also overlain and interbedded with 
igneous rock. Sediments up to 30,000 feet thick make 
this the largest frontier exploration area in the 
contiguous 48 States. 

Considerable difference of professional opinion exists 
as to petroleum potential. The U.S. Geological 
Survey Circular 902-H, Petroleum Potential 
Wilderness Lands in Nevada, concluded that potential 
for oil is low in the planning unit. U.S, Geological 
Survey Open File Report 88-450 also discusses the 
relatively low geologic petroleum potential of southern 
Nevada. 

Proponents of further exploration in the belt cite as 
evidence the discovery of oil in Railroad Valley in 
Nye County, Nevada. Apache Corporation's Grant 
Canyon No. 3 well was the most prolific onshore, free 
flowing vertical well in the contiguous United States 
with a production rate as high as 4,100 barrels of 26° 
gravity oil per day (BOPD) from the Devonian 
Guilmette Formation. The well initially flowed at 
2,272 BOPD. Completed in August 1984, it began 
producing water in May 1991, but was shut down in 



4-42 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



October of the same year. Nevada oil production 
decreased 50 percent in 1993, as compared to 1992, 
due to other high volume producers in the Grant 
Canyon field. 



Exploration Phase. The first exploration well drilled 
in Clark County was completed in 1 929 near Arden, 
15 miles southwest of Las Vegas. An area near 
Mesquite in the northeastern part of the county was 
believed to be a prospective oil area, but no wells are 
known to have been drilled in Nevada as a result of 
that promotion. 

Some sporadic drilling occurred in the 1940s, but the 
more serious efforts began in 1950 when exploration 
throughout Nevada increased significantly. Although 
numerous wells have reported oil shows, the lack of a 
discovery and the general decrease in Nevada drilling 
in the late 1960s and early 1970s resulted in few wells 
being drilled in Clark County until the early 1980s. 
Some of these recent wells were drilled to test the 
possibility of "overthrust belt" oil fields like those in 
western Wyoming and northeastern Utah. The two 
most recent wells were drilled in 1992 in Nye county. 
Both of these wells were dry and were abandoned. 

The deepest well drilled in Nevada, to date, is in 
Clark County on Mormon Mesa. In 1980, Mobil Oil 
Corporation drilled the Virgin River U.S. A. No. 1-A 
to a depth of 19,562 feet. It was an unsuccessful 
overthrust test. As of March 1, 1996, there were 41 
oil and gas leases involving 54,738.54 acres in the 
planning area. No new leases are being issued 
pending finalization of the Resource Management 
Plan. 



Geophysical Data Acquisition: Acquisition of 
geophysical data, emphasizing procurement of seismic 
data, will continue in the future. Lines will be run to 
obtain additional data in the vicinity of previous wells 
and in outlying areas. Estimates are that 
approximately 10 miles of seismic lines will be run 
each year. The best available technique will be used 
when completing these surveys and could be either 
energy or non-energy type studies. Energy type 
studies include vibration, above ground shot, shallow 



hole shot, and deep hole shot methods. Non-energy 
type studies could include magnetic declination 
surveys and the use of remote sensing techniques. 
Vibration and non-energy type studies generally cause 
negligible surface disturbance, and the use of 
explosives will cause some surface disturbance. 

Seismic studies conducted by the petroleum industry 
usually consist of sending and receiving sound signals 
through the earth. Subsurface rock layers transmit 
variable velocities to the surface which are portrayed 
on graphs and then interpreted by geophysicists. The 
signals are generated by surface (shallow hole) 
dynamite blasts, deep hole (150+ feet) dynamite 
blasts, or vibroseis machines. The vibroseis process 
involves dropping a heavy weight on the surface of 
the earth and recording the shock waves. It requires 
surface access by heavy duty vehicles. A more 
detailed description of all phases of oil and gas 
exploration and development is provided in the 
mineral potential report. 

Seismic evaluation in the valleys in southern Nevada 
is difficult due to up to 10,000 feet of alluvial fill and 
the great depth of sediments to penetrate. The alluvial 
material absorbs, deflects, and distorts signals passing 
through the material. New technology is available 
that helps clarify and interpret the distorted signal. 
Probable exploration would consist of 150 feet deep 
dynamite shots on the mountains and across the 
valleys. Depending on the structures being studied, 
the seismic line could be as short as several miles or 
as long as 40 to 60 miles. Seismic testing in 
Wilderness Study Areas on mountainous terrain would 
consist of helicopter operations to drill the blast holes. 
Blast holes in the valleys would be placed by low 
ground pressure all-terrain vehicles or would use 
existing roads and trails. Helicopter operations over 
the entire seismic line may also be used. 

If a stratigraphic test well is drilled, it would be 
strategically placed to tie seismic information together 
with the drill data. If results of the seismic 
information, geophysical evaluations, and stratigraphic 
test well so indicate, an exploration well would be 
drilled. Based on oil and gas field location in the 
Wyoming and Utah portions of the overthrust belt, 
exploration wells are likely to be in the mountainous 



4-43 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

areas of Wilderness Study Areas. Such location will 
require full service roads through mountain terrain, 
unless located at the end of the present cherry stem 
road or trails that penetrate some of the Wilderness 
Study Areas. 

Projecting for the 20-year life of the Resource 
Management Plan, a gradual increase in exploration is 
projected. This level of activity will depend on the 
success of exploration to the north where discovery 
has already been made. The high risk factor 
associated with the complex and deep structures, 
multi-million dollar wells, and the low current and 
projected value of oil are all factors influencing a 
relatively low exploration program. 

Within the Wilderness Study Areas, it is expected that 
two deep exploration wells will be drilled. The 
Muddy Mountains, Arrow Canyon, and Mount Stirling 
Wilderness Study Areas, in that order, are expected to 
undergo additional seismic testing. Only one major 
new access road is expected to be built to drill one 
exploratory well or stratigraphic test well. The other 
exploratory drill site is expected to be on or near 
current access roads or trails. 



Oil and Gas Develovment . In terms of an economic 
development field size, oil and gas development has 
not been formally established in the planning area. 
Hypothetically, a shallow 100 barrel per day well with 
a 100,000 recoverable barrel field could return drilling 
and investment costs in a few years. Nevertheless, a 
large field at over 10,000 feet depth would require 
many millions of barrels to be economically feasible. 

Development of wells would follow existing BLM and 
state regulations and bonding. Production facilities 
(well heads) would be low profile, utilizing natural 
colors and occupying less than 100 square feet. 
Gathering lines would extend from the individual 
wells to a common collection point, consisting of 
storage tanks and loading facilities for truck transport. 
These lines would be either buried or be on the 
surface. If the field is large enough, a pipeline would 
be built to the nearest rail line or refinery. 

A large field in southern Nevada is expected to 
consist of 18 to 20 wells and could extend 6 to 10 



miles long and 3 miles wide. The project life of the 
field is 35 years, at which time all facilities would be 
removed and the sites rehabilitated. 

Based on past drill history, most of the drilling will 
occur outside of Wilderness Study Areas. It is 
estimated that two wells will be drilled in the 
geographic areas currently known as Wilderness Study 
Areas. Historically, oil discoveries in Nevada have 
been exclusively in the high potential valley bottoms, 
none of which are known in the planning area. 
However, new theories have outlined a possible 
overthrust "play" in some of the lower potential 
mountainous regions. No more than three drilling or 
workover rigs will be in operation in a field at the 
same time. Limited reclamation work would occur 
until the producing field is abandoned. Producing 
fields would not be abandoned during the land use 
planning period. Disturbed land within any producing 
field that is closed or abandoned would be reclaimed. 

Considerable design flexibility can be incorporated 
into the field development to mitigate environmental 
impacts. For instance, while Nevada state law 
specifies one development per square mile, it may 
make sense to drill multiple wells from one site, 
which is what is done in the Prudhoe and Kaparuk 
fields in Alaska. These wells use slant drilling 
techniques with several wells per pad. Federal well 
spacing requirements are one well per 40 acres for 
wells 5,000 feet or less in depth, and one well per 160 
acres for wells greater than 5,000 feet in depth. 
Normally, drilling depths are greater than 5,000 feet; 
therefore, most of the well spacing can be expected to 
be 160 acres. The average size for a producing oil 
and gas field in Nevada is 640 acres. 

Beginning geophysical surveys may cross the entire 
District in a very broad brush fashion. These surveys 
will attempt to piece together the overall regional 
geology. After geologic structures of interest are 
located, surveys of specific areas will be intense and 
may be repeated frequently. An estimated 50 to 150 
miles of line will be surveyed per year. Each year, 
geophysical exploration would disturb up to 200 acres. 
There will be 100 percent reclamation completed on 
these lines by the year's end. This reclamation will 
be entirely from efforts taken by the geophysical 
companies. 



4-44 



iiiiiiiMiiillMiiii«™«n™«™»H«T 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



The risk factors involved would usually limit drilling 
to depths of 6,000 feet, although some operators 
would speculate that larger reservoirs would be 
encountered at greater depths (10,000 to 15,000 feet). 
Production rates of each field would range from 
negligible amounts (10 barrels of oil per day [BOPD]) 
to extremely prolific (6,300 BOPD). The production 
life of a field would last from 18 months to 35 years. 
The complexity of the geology, depth, high cost of 
drilling to 20,000 feet, restoration and development 
costs in ragged terrain, and continued low price for oil 
are not very conducive to active deep depth drilling 
unless detailed geological information is available in 
advance. 



Future Exploration Activity . Exploration for oil and 
gas will presumably continue in the future. This 
exploration will include seismic surveys and wildcat 
drilling. It is anticipated that 40 wildcat wells will be 
drilled in the next 20 years. It is also anticipated that 
these wells will not lead to the discovery of any oil 
fields. This is contrary to the current industry 
standard that for every 20 wildcat wells drilled, one 
will have a discovery. To date, 67 wildcat wells have 
been drilled in the planning area without any 
discovery. 

The projected quantity and amount of surface 
disturbance for the projected exploration well activity 
is listed in Table 4-6. The total acreage disturbed 
would be 416.38 acres. This is equal to 0.012 percent 
(416.38 acres - 3,331,895 acres) of the BLM- 
managed surface within the planning area. Although 
reclamation requirements apply to all acreage, this is 
not reflected in the estimates above. All disturbed 
areas are expected to be eventually reclaimed. 

Future Production Activity . Projections are minimal. 
It is anticipated that a few oil fields could be 
developed within the planning area during the 20-year 
anticipated life of this plan. However, if an oil field 
was discovered, 4 to 20 wells would be drilled in 
each of two oil fields (one minor and one major). 
Each field would contain 3 producing wells, up to 2 
injection wells, and 2 to 17 plugged and abandoned 
wells. Because tank batteries would be placed on 



existing drill pads, additional surface disturbance 
would not be required. 

Each field would be located 1 to 6 miles from a major 
existing road and require a 50-foot wide access road 
surfaced with 3 feet of gravel. Additionally, 4 to 5 
miles of 30-foot wide service road with a 2-foot 
gravel surface would be required. Drill pads would 
not exceed 2 acres and would be surfaced with 2.5 
feet of gravel. Between 1 and 6 miles of pipeline 
would be laid on a 15-foot wide disturbed area. 
Gravel would be obtained locally from pits not 
exceeding 10 feet in depth. An oil refinery disturbing 
20 acres would be constructed in conjunction with the 
major oil field. A 30-mile long pipeline disturbing 55 
acres of surface would be built from the new oil fields 
to the proposed refinery. The projected disturbance is 
listed in Table 4-7. 

Two oil fields could possibly be discovered within the 
planning area during the 20-year anticipated life of 
this Plan, contingent on the release of lands being 
considered for Wilderness designation. These kinds of 
fields are projected as one small (four wells) within 
the Arrow Canyon Wilderness Study Area, and one 
larger field (20 wells) within both the Muddy 
Mountains Wilderness Study Area. 

Drilling trends could fluctuate greatly, from an 
absence of drilling for up to five consecutive years, to 
half of the wells being drilled in a ten-year period. 
Each new discovery would foster an increase in 
drilling activity that could last for two to three years. 
The amount of acreage disturbed would range from a 
low of 41 acres, to a high of 253 acres. Although 
reclamation requirements apply to all acres, the 
disturbed acreage estimates do not reflect these 
activities. 



Solid Leasable Minerals. 

The exploration and mining scenarios for locatable 
minerals are used to explore the potential impacts 
from this resource. 

Future Exploration Activity. During the proposed 20- 
year life of this plan, one prospecting permit would be 



4-45 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



received for the White Basin area.. The prospecting 
permit would equate to a Scenario "C" and would be a 
two-year project to drill and evaluate the area's 
mineral potential. This permit is projected to possibly 
result in lease issuance and development for sodium. 
The amount of disturbance expected is listed in Table 
4-7. 

Future Mining Activity. Expectations for solid 
leasables is similar to the exploration discussion. One 
mine (located in White Basin) would be developed 
under Scenario "F." Acreage disturbed would range 
from a low of 335 acres to a high of 3,020 acres. 
This is equal to between 0.010 percent (335 acres -f 
3,331,895 acres) and 0.09 percent (3,020 acres ~ 
3,331,895 acres) of the BLM-managed surface within 
the Las Vegas BLM District. Although reclamation 
requirements apply to all acres, reclamation activities 
are not included in the estimates. All disturbed areas 
are expected to be eventually reclaimed. Projected 
disturbance for the exploration and mining 
development is shown in Table 4-7. 



Locatable Minerals 

Exploration for and development of locatable mineral 
resources is provided by the General Mining Law of 



May 10, 1872, as amended (17 Stat. 91; 30 U.S.C. 21 
et seq.). 43 CFR 3802 and 3809 provide protection to 
nonmineral resources, provide reclamation of 
disturbed areas, and provide for mineral exploration 
and development, while assuring that activities are 
conducted in a manner that prevents unnecessary or 
undue degradation. 

Scenario Models. Several generic mining notice and 
plan of operations scenarios were created as models 
to show the complexity and variety of potential 
impacts to Federal lands. The models illustrate a 
range of projected disturbances within an array of 
probable land uses. In reality, disturbances would 
presumably vary among deposits. 

(A) Exploration: minins notice Scenario: In this 
scenario, there could be county bladed roads, drill 
pads, trenches, or cut and fill roads. Average 
disturbance would be 3 acres per year per notice. An 
average drill program would range from 1 to 15 holes 
per year. A typical pad would be 20 feet wide by 40 
feet long. Holes would often be drilled in roads with 
the road serving as the drill pad. Cumulative 
unreclaimed disturbance would not be allowed to 
exceed 5 acres in any individual project area. 



Table 4-6. Projected quantity of material and surface disturbance needed for future fluid mineral exploration 
wells. 



jfter 
f ells 



■y|j m*JT*K -. JF v( 



Total Total 

ic Feet: ■/'<■/_]■< > Acres 

'00,000 146.92 



00 



75 52 



4-46 



^"■"P"""""""™™™! Illllllll Hill III III III III IIIIIIIHIUWIIIBm^MMMIWllMlliMmillL_ 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-7. Projected disturbance following 
exploration and discovery of leasable minerals 
actions. 



15- 



M-] Total. 



. .10-79 
41-253. 



Exploration and Development of aMine 
Scenario Number Total Acres 

C .: 1 5-10 

: F J!;; 330-3,010 

: Total 2 335 - 3,020 



(B) Mining Ovemtion: mining notice. In this 
operation, the miner could pursue a placer deposit or 
a lode deposit. A front end loader and a bulldozer 
could be utilized. Typically, the miner would be 
following high grade mineralization that requires 
minimal processing facilities. Average disturbance 
would range from two to four acres per year. 
Cumulative unreclaimed disturbance would not be 
allowed to exceed 5 acres in any individual project 
area. 

(C) Exploration: plan of operations. In this operation, 
the mining operator would disturb 5 to 10 acres of 
land per year. These projects would not normally last 
more than two to five years. Roads, trenches, and 
drill pads would be the predominant surface 
disturbances. An average drill program would range 
from 15 to 30 holes per year. Up to 200 holes could 
be drilled in the project area. Closer spacing of holes 
and more intense programs would normally be 
associated with the defining of a mineral resource. It 
is possible that some of these programs would start 
under a mining notice and then change to a plan of 
operations when they exceed the surface disturbance 
threshold of 5 acres. 

(D) Small Enterprise: Plan of Operations. In this 
operation, a small scale operator would pursue a 



working mine. The small scale operator could be 
mining a high grade deposit, old tailings, or a deposit 
which is too small for the larger operators. This 
operation could be the mining of building stone, 
industrial minerals, precious metals, or gems. The 
operators would attempt to operate within favorable 
economic windows with little capital investment and 
low operating costs. This operation could employ 1 
to 5 people. The disturbance is listed in Table 4-8. 

(E) Small-to -Mode rate Mine: plan of operations. 
This operation could be mining industrial minerals, 
base metals, precious metals, or gems. It could be an 
open pit gold heap leach operation utilizing a leachate 
such as cyanide. This mine would have an open pit 
to pursue the desired commodity. A processing or 
mill facility would be required. A heap leach pad 
would only be used for the gold operation. Typically, 
gold deposits would be low grade with a cut-off grade 
of 0.025 ounces of gold per ton. This operation could 
have grades of 0.05 to 0.1 ounces of gold per ton, but 
the high grade ore would be the exception. In-place 
gold reserves would be in the neighborhood of 50,000 
to 100,000 total ounces of gold. Normally, this 
operation would employ 15 to 40 people and have a 
mine life of 3 to 6 years. The disturbance is listed in 
Table 4-8. 

IF) Large Mine: plan of operations. This operation 
could be mining industrial minerals, base metals, 
precious metals, or gems. This mine would have one 
or more open pits to pursue the desired commodity. 
A processing or mill facility would be required. A 
heap leach pad would only be used for gold 
operations. The size of the open pit, type of 
processing facility, and method of tailings disposal 
would depend on the commodity being mined. A 
molybdenum/copper circuit would require larger 
tailings disposal areas than a gold circuit. Normally, 
this operation would employ 300 to 600 people and 
have a mine life of at least seven years. Numbers of 
employees would likely increase during construction 
phases of the operation. Water wells, power lines, 
parking facilities, and other ancillary facilities would 
be required in advance of production. Disturbance 
would be greatly influenced by terrain and the 
engineering ability to use the existing topographic 
features. The projected disturbance is shown in Table 
4-8. 

(G) Brine Mine: plan of operations. This operation 
would pump one or a combination of the following 
brines: lithium, sodium, potassium, boron, 
magnesium, or any metal bearing brine from the 



4-47 



'::.[■'::■: ■:.^':-'-/-^::.^ 



^^mmmm^B 



Chapter 4 - Impact Analysis 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-8. Projected disturbance from implementation of locatable minerals plans of operations. 

. I 



Small Mine: 




MM i «,-„ tt aj;„~ 

■■■■■::■::■: :l>»rgC iMine 




Disturbance 


Total Acres 




Total Acres 


"Roads v 


™&& 


:::;; .■::;: Opi?ri;pits 


100-500 


Processing facilities 


■'■'" 1-2 : ■ : 


Leach pads and ponds 


::: 100-500 ■ 


Heap leach sites 


0-10 : 


■ : : Mill; buildings ; 


15-160 ■: 


Administrative sites 


W-:\ 


Overburden; storage :.'v-," 


: : 100-400 


Pit or scrape 


*4- 10 


[■]:;'y;fr0iiigs ponds ; ; ; ;; 


- 1,700 


■Ore stockpiles: : 


Vi-4 


'.;.;■;: yBavl roads ; : ; 


30-50 


Overburden storage 


Vi - 5 


Ore Stockpiles;: :::: 

Administration, engineering, 


30 - 5(J 




S-37 


shop maintenance buildi 
; Access roads 




Small-to-Moderate Mine 








Disturbance 


total Acres 

■"' 6-10 




430-3,510 


Open pit 


10-20 






Ore stockpile;; 


5-30 






. Leach pads and ponds 


20- 30 






PI ant facilities : :| 


-5 






Power lines 


0-5 






; ;; Water wells; : : :; : ;Xv:\:y 


1 -5 






■ ■ : Ov^burden/wastey: ;:;:::: 


40-65 


Brine Mine: 


Total Acres 






.';:. : :V:\rT00C&S3flg- : taCllllLCS: M 


10- 25 






Pipelines and roads: 


50-150 


oistturosjicc 


Total Acres 


Power lines 


5-20 


'.■'■■'■ Roads ;■;::•■": 


5-50 


Evaporation ponds : 


1.500-5.000 


Processing facilities 


5-15 


;■;■ Well sites ■ \\ : - : M\ .: . . . : 'J[ 


::::: :^:¥- 20- : - 


Headframe or portal 


5- 10 


; : ; : ; : ;S alt: storage; .;\ 


50 - 150 


:■.■"■: Ventilation:; .; .;/ 


5 - 10 


\ : .; : Overburden i storage : v 


50-50 


Tallin gs disposal 


.;.;.;;; 25- 50 v 


::;:> : Actnii nistrative: sites ; ; ;■ :: 


:.;,:.,:.. s _ 2S - ; 


Total 


45 - 135 







4-48 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



aquifer. A series of evaporation ponds would be 
constructed. The solution would be allowed to 
concentrate in the ponds. The solution would 
concentrate as the water evaporates. The concentrated 
solution would be run through a mill to remove the 
desired product. Salt would ultimately be the product 
left in the pond. The salt or metal or both would be 
sold as the desired product. The projected disturbance 
is shown on Table 4-8. 

(H) Expansion: Plan of Operations. This operation 
would not be a wholly new mining venture, but would 
occur adjacent to an existing operation. It would be 
an expansion of an existing mine to take advantage of 
a new ore deposit, new technology, changing 
economics, or changing company philosophy. A mine 
could have more than one expansion during its life. 
This acreage could be used for a new open pit, pit 
expansion, leach pad, facilities, tailings expansion, 
waste rock expansions, and others. This model would 
be projected to disturb an additional 120 to 360 acres, 
beyond the estimates shown on Table 4-8. 

(I) Underground Mine: Plan of Operations. In this 
operation, the operator could be mining base metals, 
precious metals, or gems. This operation would 
require a higher grade of ore than is needed for an 
open pit mine. Although an underground mine would 
require less surface acres than an open pit mine, the 
costs to remove a ton of material would be much 
higher. Indirect impacts of subsidence and acid water 
drainage can result from this operation. The mine and 
processing facilities would often be separated to take 
advantage of terrain. Typically, an underground mine 
would be very capital intensive and require extensive 
development work in advance of production. 
Normally, this operation would employ 50 to 175 
people and have a mine life of 8 to 15 years. The 
projected disturbance is shown on Table 4-8. 

Future Exploration Activity. Exploration would 
continue within those parts of the planning area that 
remain available for locatable mineral activity. 
Drilling programs would attempt to accomplish: 1) the 
complete assessment work to hold the mining claims 
pursuant to the General Mining Law of 1872, as 
amended, and/or 2) evaluate a mineralized area as a 
potential mine. 

Exploration activity would vary in a pattern that 
follows commodity prices. When commodity prices 
are up, activity would be up. Work conducted during 
this foreseeable future would occur across the parts of 
planning area available for locatable mineral activity 



in mineral potential zones rated as low, moderate, and 
high. Programs would be concentrated within mining 
districts, surrounding existing mines, and around new 
discoveries. 

It would be projected that 46 new Scenario "A" 
operations would take place each year, along with 10 
amendments to existing mining notices. It would be 
projected that 5 new Scenario "C" operations would 
take place each year, along with 2 amendments to 
existing plans of operations. During a year, 
exploration pursuant to a mining notice would disturb 
168 acres [(46 + 10) (3 acres)], and that exploration 
pursuant to plans of operations would disturb between 
35 and 70 acres [(5 + 2) (5 acres to 10 acres)]. This 
exploration would be outside of existing mine project 
areas. This would total between 203 and 238 acres of 
new disturbance each year. 

Operations pursuant to a Scenario "B" mining notice 
would stay constant. Currently, there are 20 such 
operations within the Las Vegas BLM District. These 
operations would relocate during the life of a plan of 
operations, but the acreage would remain constant. 
This would total between 40 and 80 acres [(20) (2 
acres to 4 acres)] of existing disturbance each year. 
Generally, these operators would be working in 
historic mining districts. 

Future Mining Activity. 

Projections. The following discussion includes 
projections for selected operations in the planning 
area. Scenarios "D" through "I" are used in the 
foreseeable development scenario. Scenarios "D" 
through "G", and Scenario "I" focus on new mines or 
actions, not existing operations. Only Scenario "H" 
would apply to existing mines. These actions would 
be mainly projected in moderate or high potential 
zones, although many factors could lead to 
development in low potential areas. Based upon the 
proposed 20-year life of the Resource Management 
Plan, the total projections are listed in Table 4-9. 

Acreage disturbed would range from a low of 15,490 
acres to a high of 33,970 acres. This equals between 
0.465 percent (15,490 acres t 3,331,895 acres) and 1 
percent (33,970 acres -f 3,331,895 acres) of the BLM- 
managed surface within the Las Vegas BLM District. 
It is important to note that reclamation requirements 
apply to all of these acres. These estimates do not 
account for reclamation. It is expected that all 
disturbed areas will be eventually reclaimed. 



4-49 





Chapter 4 - Impact Analysis 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 

Table 4-9. Projected and current disturbances for future locatable actions. 
















A (46 + 10) x 20 = 1,120 (1,120 








C ^^^^^^^^ :■ 20 7x20 = X40 ( O40) 2 (5t 








F 01 X x 2 20 = = 2 2 (2)(430to35 


70) = 1,640 to 






G : x20 = (OX U6 


60) = 2,400 to 




I 0.1 X 20 = 2 ■:'::'■ (2X45 




Total 159.2x20=3184 


l",ui»" to * 





Current D 






Type 




Active 


Non -Wilde 


mess Plans 


29 


Wilderness 


Plaiis : 


205 



; l\} '-■-:■ 

446 



Notices 
Plans 



\l.£ 



i acres ; 
acres 



Current 



m- 



acres 



Proi 



)Ius 



+ 
+: 



,895 acres 
,895 acres 



Percentage of 

0.376 percent 



Foreseeabl 
Foreseeabl 



1995 



Acres 

7328: 

2.475 

10,050 



4-50 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Current Disturbance. The amount of acres disturbed, 
identified by case file type, from fiscal year 1981 
through fiscal year 1995 is summarized in Table 4-9. 
From 1981 through 1995, the disturbance proposed 
under mining notices was 2,148 acres (716 x 3 acres), 
and the disturbance proposed under plans of operation 
was 5,180 acres (140 x 37 acres), for a total 
disturbance of 7,328 acres. Not all acreage was 
disturbed. To close a mining notice case file, all 
disturbed areas must be reclaimed to the standard 
described in 43 CFR 3809.1 -3(d). To close a plan of 
operations case file, all disturbed areas must be 
reclaimed to the standard described in the approved 
plan. 

Reclaimed mining notices equal 1,338 acres (446 x 3 
acres). Reclaimed plans of operation equal 3,515 
acres (95 x 37 acres). Total reclamation of both 
notices and plans equals 4,853 acres. Percentages of 
the disturbances caused by mining operations that 
have been reclaimed are also shown in Table 4-9. 

Unreclaimed mining notices equal 810 acres (270 x 3 
acres), and unreclaimed plans of operation equal 1,665 
acres (45 x 37 acres), for a total of 2,475 acres. 

Combined Disturbance. The total of the current, 
existing disturbance added to the projected disturbance 
results in the total surface disturbance in the planning 
area. This total and the percentages of the BLM- 
managed surface disturbed by mining operations in 
the minimum and maximum development scenarios 
are listed in Table 4-9. No reclamation has been 
applied to the new disturbance. The BLM policy 
encourages concurrent reclamation on all projects. 
All operations in excess of five acres require proper 
bonding. A complete tabulation of disturbances from 
1981 through 1995 and projections for 20 years into 
the foreseeable future is also listed in Table 4-9. 



Saleable Materials 

Modifications of the exploration and mining scenarios 
for beatable minerals are used to identify potential 
impacts from this resource. These scenarios include 
all reasonably foreseeable sand and gravel 
development activities whether these materials are 
presently being mined as a salable mineral, locatable 
mineral, leasable mineral, or material site rights-of- 
way. Mineral extraction for major industrial, military, 
recreation, and wildlife management areas would 
occur adjacent to and along access roads to these 
areas. 



Mineral materials extraction would occur as close to 
the project as possible. Urban areas that would 
require materials include the cities of Boulder City, 
Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite, North Las Vegas 
and Pahrump, the towns of Amargosa Valley, Arden, 
Blue Diamond, Bunkerville, Cal-Nev-Ari, East Las 
Vegas, Glendale, Goodsprings, Green Valley, Indian 
Springs, Jean, Lathrop Wells, Laughlin, Logandale, 
Moapa, Nelson, Overton, Paradise, Sandy Valley, 
Searchlight, Sloan, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, and 
Winchester, as well as the Apex industrial site, Nellis 
Air Force Base, and Yucca Mountain nuclear 
repository site. 

Numerous major paved road systems are in the 
planning area (see list in Table 4-10). Additional 
smaller, paved spurs also provide access. These 
paved highways, as well as the extensive road 
network within the Las Vegas Valley, would require 
maintenance, rebuilding, and continued sources of 
materials. Landscape rock would be mined from the 
Arden and Flagstone quarries. 

Scenario Models. Five scenarios are discussed for 
operation of the salable minerals program. 

(V) Sampling and testing activities. In this operation, 
exploration activities would disturb 3 to 5 acres of 
land per year, and would typically last less than one 
year. The predominant type of surface disturbance 
would consist of road cuts, trenches, and drill holes. 
An average drill program would range from 15 to 30 
holes per year. Up to 200 holes could be drilled in 
the project area. Closer spacing of holes and more 
intense programs would normally be associated with 
the defining of a sand and gravel deposit. These 
activities would normally cover a larger area than a 
material site right-of-way or free use permit. All 
sampling and testing would be authorized under 43 
CFR 3602. Ultimately, Federally-aided highway 
projects would be granted material site rights-of-way 
under 43 CFR 2800, and all other projects would be 
issued materials sales contracts or free use permits 
under 43 CFR 3610 or 3620, respectively. 

(W) Community pit operations. In this scenario, up to 
four operators would extract within a designated 
community pit, with the sand and gravel deposit 
utilizing a front end loader and bulldozer. Operators 
would typically extract material that requires minimal 
processing facilities. Average disturbance would range 
from 2 to 4 acres per year. 



4-51 



_ __ - - 



HUH^^B^H^^B 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



(X) Small size pit operations. In this operation, a 
small-scale operator would pursue a working open pit 
mine consisting of either a high-quality deposit or one 
considered too small for the larger operators. The 
operation would likely extract sand and gravel, 
building stone, or other common variety minerals. 
The operation would be restricted by minimal capital 
investment, with a need to attain a low level of 
operating costs, resulting in a personnel limitation of 
one to five employees. The projected disturbance is 
listed in Table 4-11. 

(Y) Moderate size pit operations. This operation 
would involve mining, by open-pit method, for sand 
and gravel, building stone, or other common variety 
minerals. The mine would require a processing 
facility, employ 15 to 40 workers, and have a mine 
life from three to six years. Projected disturbance is 
listed in Table 4-11. 

(Z) Large size pit operations. This operation would 
utilize one or more open pits to extract sand and 
gravel, building stone, and other common variety 
minerals. A processing or hot plant facility would be 
required. The size of the open pit, type of processing 
facility, and method of overburden disposal would be 
dependent upon the commodity being mined. The 
operation would normally employ 50 to 300 people 
and have a mine life of 7 years or more; additional 
employees would be needed during construction 
phases. Water wells, power lines, parking areas, and 
other ancillary facilities would be required in advance 
of production. Disturbance would largely depend on 
the nature of the terrain and the available engineering 
technology. Projected disturbance is listed in Table 4- 
11. 

Future Exploration Activity. During the approximate 
20- year life of this plan, there will be an estimated 
70 requests for letters of authorization to conduct 
sampling and testing activities for sand and gravel. 
Of these, 85 percent will be by the Nevada 
Department of Transportation and 15 percent by 
private contractors. Further, 32 of these authorization 
requests are projected to result in approval to mine 
sand and gravel, and there would be 25 for material 
site rights-of-way, 5 for free use permits, and 2 for 
contracts for material sales to private contractors. 
Also, all 22 sand and gravel pits are expected to be 
developed. 

The sampling and testing activities would equate to a 
Scenario "V" and would be received for the portions 
of the planning area described in MN-l-k. It would 



Table 4-10. Major paved road systems in the 
planning area. 











Road 


jus Connected : 




Designatk 










b tateim^ :* 


Las Vegas '-lyiesquue 






Arrow Canyon - Las Vegas - 




SR146 








: : :SR 147 :/ 


Henderson 


- Lake Mead : NRA 




SR156 


Lee Cany o 


tiRoad 




SR 157 








SR15S:: 


Deer Creek 


. f.0 SR 157 ■ ■ ■ ■X'X:. 




SR 159 


Las Vegas 


- Blue Diamond - 




:; ; SR164; : 


1-15 at Mo 
x : light- 3 






::.SR165;;;.; 


US95-N< 
1-15 at 






1 


1-15 at Gle 






/CD' 'X'lA 




California and 






■:■: :: Nevada 


border ■ ■ 




SR604 


Las Vegas 







State Route (Nevada) 
United States highway (Fede 
Interstate highway (Federal) 



....... 



gigg 



be a one-year project to drill and evaluate the 
potential for these mineral materials. Three new 
Scenario "V" operations are expected to occur each 
year. Exploration activities pursuant to letters of 
authorization to conduct sampling and testing would 



4-52 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



disturb between 9 and 15 acres [(3 authorizations) (3 
acres to 5 acres)] of new disturbance each year. This 
exploration would be outside of existing sand and 
gravel mining areas. 

Future Mining Activity. Community pit operations 
would equate to a Scenario "W." Currently, there are 
28 active Scenario "W" operations in the planning 
area. An average of 30 operations per year are 
expected over the life of the plan, involving about 30 
operators and between 0.25 to 2 acres of new 
disturbance each year. These operations would 
relocate during the life of the plan as operators move 
and community pits are opened and closed. These 
operators vary in size from small, to medium to large. 

Small operations would equate to a Scenario "X". 
Currently, there are five Scenario "X" operations 
within the Las Vegas BLM District. An average of 
10 new disturbances is expected over the life of the 
plan, totaling between 60 and 120 acres, and 
involving 30 operators at 2 acres to 4 acres each. 
These operations would relocate during the life of the 
plan as operators move. 

Moderate operations would equate to a Scenario "Y." 
Currently, there are 15 Scenario "Y" operations within 
the Las Vegas BLM District. An average of five per 
year is expected over the life of the plan. The total 
would be between 20 and 80 acres of new 
disturbance, involving 5 operators at 4 to 16 acres 
each.. These operations would relocate during the life 
of the plan as operators move. 

Large operations would equate to a Scenario "Z." 
Currently, there are 4 Scenario "Z" operations in the 
Las Vegas BLM District. An average of five per year 
is expected over the life of the plan. This would total 
between 48 and 192 acres, involving 3 operators and 
16 to 64 acres of new disturbance each year. These 
operations would relocate during the life of the plan 
as operators move. 

Projections follow for operations in the planning area. 
Scenarios "V" through "Z" are being used in the 
foreseeable development scenario. These actions 
would mainly occur in areas of moderate or high sand 
and gravel potential, although many factors could lead 
to development in low potential areas. Based on the 
approximate 20-year life of the Resource Management 
Plan, total projections are listed in Table 4-11. 

The amount of disturbed acreage would range from a 
low of 3,010 acres to a high of 9,640 acres. Although 



reclamation requirements apply to all acres, the 
projections and estimates do not reflect this data. 
The percentages of BLM-managed surface within the 
planning area disturbed by mining operations in the 
minimum and maximum development scenarios are 
also listed in Table 4-11. This includes 40 designated 
pits (10 that average 3,150 acres), each with 3 percent 
or 95 acres disturbed or active at any given time. A 
total of 3,800 acres of active community pit 
disturbance is expected each year. 



Assessment of Cumulative Impacts from 
the Past, Present, and Reasonably 
Foreseeable Future Actions 

The following section analyzes the cumulative effects 
expected from implementation of The Plan. The 
assessment attempts to address effects on each 
resource for all lands regardless of ownership. 

Air Resource Management 

The discussion of cumulative impacts to air resources 
will be restricted to the Las Vegas air quality Non- 
Attainment Area (see Map 3 -4a). ' Air resources 
within the Non-Attainment Area have been degraded 
by pollutant levels, primarily particulates (PM 10 ) and 
carbon monoxide, in excess of ambient air quality 
standards established by the Environmental Protection 
Agency, State of Nevada, and Clark County Health 
District. Air quality in the remainder of the planning 
area is acceptable, meaning that pollutant levels are 
less than or equal to established standards on a 
continuous basis. Reasonably foreseeable future 
actions, together with past and present actions, are not 
expected to result in unacceptable air quality in any 
areas outside of the existing Non-Attainment Area. 

The primary contributor to the cumulative impact to 
the air resource within the Las Vegas Valley is public 
land disposals. Land disposals would indirectly 
impact the air resource by providing land that may be 
developed, resulting in an increased growth rate 
within the valley. Pollutant sources and discharge 
would be expected to increase along with an increased 
growth rate. Under this plan, approximately 52,000 
acres of public lands within the Las Vegas Valley 
Non-Attainment Area are designated as being 
available for disposal. 

The fact that public lands have been identified for 
disposal does not guarantee their eventual disposal 



4-53 



Chapter 4 - Impact Analysis 

Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 4-11. Projected disturbance from implementation of saleable minerals operations. 



Roads 

■Processing iaeiliti.es 

Pit or scrape |V ::■::■: 
Material stockpiles 
Overburden: storage 
Total 



Va--¥iZ ■■--■:: 


Roads 


%-W^r 


Processing fa 


i . 2 


;; ■ :■: Pit or scrape; 




Ore stockpile 


V4-V2 


f-Yv^rhi irrlf^Ti c 


2-4 





Vi- 1 



Ore st 
Overt 



VS- 2 



Future J 
Scenario 

":W*smaU. 

W-med 

W-large 

:::. x . : .: 



ier Scenar 



3.3 X 20 = /O 

: 24x20= 480 

2x20= 40 

■2x20 = 40 

10 x 20= 200 

15 x20= 300 

3 x20= 60 

71 x20 = 1,420 



(480X2 to 4) = 960 to 1,920 

■ ■ ■ (200)(2: -to- 4) ;=. 400 .to: -800- ■ 
30X4tol6)= lv20Oto 4,800 
60X16 to 64)= 960 to 3,840 
4,530 to 14,920 



imr 



ctec 



14,920 acres 



Planning Area 
Total Acreage 

3,331.895 acres 



lUl LrCU '/lUtCdgC; 

= 0.136 percent 



4-54 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



and development, and this fact must be taken into 
consideration in development of reasonably 
foreseeable future actions and assessment of impacts. 
Among the many factors affecting disposal of public 
land are budget and workforce considerations, public 
demand, economic conditions, changing resource 
values (such as the listing of the desert tortoise), and 
coordination with local governments. 

Approximately 15,325 acres of public lands have been 
disposed in the Las Vegas Valley over the last 12 
years, which averages 1,277 acres per year. 
Assuming that land disposals will continue at a 
similar rate as in the past, approximately 25,540 acres 
of public lands are expected to be disposed during the 
life of the Resource Management Plan (20 years). 

For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that 
approximately 54,000 acres of private lands within the 
Las Vegas Valley will be developed during the life of 
the Resource Management Plan (based on a past 
annual total land development estimate of 
approximately 4,000 acres provided by local entities, 
less the average annual disposal figure of about 1,300 
acres). This projection, along with the anticipated 
public land disposals (assuming development of all 
acres), would result in a total of approximately 80,000 
acres of new development during the life of this plan; 
this represents a 60 percent increase of the total 
developed land base (currently approximately 132,000 
acres) in the Valley . 

Estimates for PM 10 and carbon monoxide emissions 
due to land disposals are based on data obtained from 
the Clark County Health District and Clark County 
Comprehensive Planning. Cumulative impacts from 
both private and public land development activities 
during the life of this plan would result in an annual 
PM 10 increase of about 760 tons, a total of 
approximately 15,000 tons (based on 0.19 
tons/acre/year) at the end of the 20-year life of the 
planning period. These figures represent a worst-case 
scenario in that it is assumed that all of the public 
land acres disposed will be developed. In practice, all 
the acres probably will not be developed, and the 
actual emissions figures resulting from development 
will be somewhat less than those presented. 

Cumulative impacts on carbon monoxide emissions 
from both private and public land development 
activities during the life of this plan would result in 
an annual increase of 5,459 tons, a total of 109,180 
tons (based on 1.37 tons/acre/year) at the end of the 
20-year life of the planning period. This anticipated 



increase is due primarily to growth induced increases 
in motor vehicles and their resultant emissions. These 
estimates represent a worst-case scenario by not 
factoring in technological advances that will 
undoubtedly be made in reducing carbon monoxide 
emissions from internal combustion engines. It also 
does not consider additional legal or regulatory 
measures that may be taken by Federal, state, or 
local governments to reduce carbon monoxide 
emissions. 

Soil Resource 

Erosion and soil loss are expected to decrease as a 
result of a decrease in surface-disturbing activities. A 
total of approximately 81,000 tons of soil loss can be 
expected over the 20-year life of the Resource 
Management Plan. Actions under The Plan 
contributing to these losses include livestock grazing; 
wild horse and burros grazing; off-road-vehicle use; 
and mineral exploration and development. The soil 
loss is approximately 21,000 tons less than estimated 
under current management (about 102,000 tons). 
Regardless of what actions occur on lands other than 
public, actions taken under this plan would result in a 
net improvement to the soil resource. 



Water Resource Management 

The discussion of the cumulative impacts to the water 
resource will be restricted to the Las Vegas Valley 
where rapid growth and development has resulted in a 
groundwater overdraft situation. In this area, 
Nevada's Colorado River water allocation is also 
being rapidly depleted. 

The primary contributor to the cumulative impact to 
the water resource in the Las Vegas Valley is public 
land disposals. Land disposals would indirectly 
impact the water resource by providing land that may 
be developed, resulting in an increased growth rate 
within the valley. Water demand would be expected 
to increase along with an increased growth rate. 

Under this plan, approximately 52,000 acres of public 
lands within the Las Vegas Valley are designated as 
being available for disposal. The fact that public 
lands have been identified for disposal does not 
guarantee their eventual disposal and development, 
and this fact must be taken into consideration in the 
development of reasonably foreseeable future actions 
and assessment of impacts. Among the many factors 



4-55 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



affecting disposal of public land are budget and 
workforce considerations, public demand, economic 
conditions, changing resource values (such as the 
listing of the desert tortoise), and coordination with 
local governments. 

Approximately 15,000 acres of public lands have been 
disposed in the Las Vegas Valley over the last 12 
years (an average of approximately 1,300 acres per 
year). Assuming that land disposals will continue at 
a similar rate as in the past, it is anticipated that 
approximately 26,000 acres of public lands will 
actually be disposed of during the life of the Resource 
Management Plan (20 years). 

Records indicate that approximately 67,000 acre feet 
of groundwater was extracted from the principal 
aquifer of the Las Vegas Valley, far exceeding the 
estimated recharge of 30,000 acre-feet (Table 3-9). 
In addition to groundwater withdrawals, the Valley 
used approximately 293,000 acre feet of Nevada's 
allocation of Colorado River water. Current 
projections indicate that consumptive use within the 
Valley may reach its maximum allocation of the 
Colorado River water much sooner than anticipated. 

For the purposes of this analysis, it is assumed that 
approximately 54,000 acres of private lands within the 
Las Vegas Valley will be developed during the life of 
the Resource Management Plan. This estimate is 
based on a past annual total land development of 
approximately 4,000 acres provided by local entities, 
less the average annual disposal figure of 
approximately 1,300 acres. This amount, along with 
the anticipated public land disposals (assuming 
development of all acres), would result in a total of 
approximately 80,000 acres of new development 
during the life of this plan. This total represents an 
increase of 60 percent of the total developed land base 
(currently approximately 132,000 acres) in the Valley. 
These actions would have indirect impacts on the 
water resource by encouraging growth within the 
Valley and increasing demand on an already taxed 
water supply. 

To date, approximately 132,000 acres of land have 
been developed in the Las Vegas Valley. Assuming 
that nearly all present water usage (approximately 
336,000 acre-feet) from both groundwater sources and 
the Colorado River is consumed by these land 
holdings, the per acre annual water usage in the 
Valley is approximately 2.5-acre feet. The estimated 



increase in annual water usage from new development 
would be approximately 10,000 acre-feet. However, 
because all disposed lands would probably not be 
developed, the actual increase in water use would be 
somewhat less than indicated. 

Over the 20-year life of the Resource Management 
Plan, the anticipated consumption of additional water 
would be approximately 200,000 acre-feet. Adverse 
implications of the increased water consumption could 
be moderated by actions taken by the entities within 
the Valley charged with management of the water 
situation. The Las Vegas Valley Water District has 
initiated an exploration and development program 
designed to increase current water supplies over the 
next 15 to 20 years. Mandatory conservation 
measures may be introduced to better utilize currently 
available water supplies. 



Riparian Resource 

Current and proposed actions would act 
synergistically. These actions include intensive 
riparian management and/or protection; closure of 43 
of the 54 grazing allotments; removal of all wild 
horses and burros from three Herd Management Areas 
and reduction to the Appropriate Management Level 
within three Herd Management Areas; and a forage 
utilization limit for riparian vegetation. These various 
actions would help to stabilize and improve the proper 
functioning condition of the 149 spring associated 
riparian areas (75 acres) and those associated with the 
Muddy River, Virgin River and the Meadow Valley 
Wash (292 acres). 

Public land disposals and eventual development of 
these lands, along with land development other than 
that associated with public land disposals, would 
continue to increase the impermeable surface acreage 
within the Las Vegas Valley. There would be 
increased runoff and sediments from these areas along 
with continued erosion within the Las Vegas Wash. 
These impacts, however, would be expected to be 
moderated through the efforts of the Clark County 
Regional Flood Control District. Impacts to the 
Virgin River riparian area (but to a lesser degree than 
those within the Las Vegas Valley) would be expected 
as a result of public land disposals in and around the 
City of Mesquite. 



4-56 



^.-.■■ : ..:. : ::-.,^;,?: : '^ :■■ ::■■■ , '; 



iMiiinMwmii rTiT n nMrir rrT " 



Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Vegetation Management 

Vegetation on approximately 29,000 acres would 
either be lost or changed due to surface disturbance 
activities over the life of this plan. It is reasonable to 
expect limited success in reclamation efforts based on 
past results from many projects. Use of native local 
cacti species, which transplant well, could be used to 
improve the success ratio of reclamation efforts. 

Weedy species (such as red brome, Mediterranean 
grass and Russian thistle) tend to invade disturbed 
sites under most conditions and can become dominant 
in some situations. Evidence of this occurs throughout 
the Las Vegas District. It is reasonable to expect 
white bursage to become established on disturbed sites 
naturally, provided a seed source is present. This 
plant is important for soil stabilization. 

Plant vigor and species diversity would be expected to 
improve over the life of this plan due to closure of 
areas to livestock grazing and new mineral entities. 
Areas remaining open to livestock grazing would also 
improve based on intensive management and 
completion of allotment management plans. 
Managing grazing at proper use levels and alternating 
use through deferment grazing systems is expected to 
improve vegetative conditions over the long term. 



Desert Tortoise Habitat Management 

Cumulative impacts to desert tortoise habitat are 
expected to occur over the entire planning area, in 
varying intensity from location to location. Within 
the Las Vegas Valley, cumulative impacts to desert 
tortoise will be significant; This assessment is 
tempered by the fact that it is unlikely for a long-term 
viable breeding population to be sustained in the 
Valley, given current development and the projected 
growth of Las Vegas over the life of The Plan. 
Assuming that the identified reasonable foreseeable 
future actions occur, approximately 107,000 acres of 
low density tortoise habitat will be lost over the life 
of The Plan. The majority of this habitat would be 
located in the Las Vegas Valley. A loss of this 
magnitude would normally be considered significant, 
but due to the lack of large islands of habitat in the 
Las Vegas Valley that are capable of sustaining 
minimum viable populations levels, this loss of habitat 
is not expected to jeopardize the continued existence 
of the desert tortoise in Nevada. 



A total of approximately 743,000 acres would be 
designated as Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern to be managed primarily for the recovery of 
desert tortoise. Section 7 consultation would be 
required on all Federal actions that may affect a 
threatened or endangered species. 

Designation of critical habitat for desert tortoise or 
other species changes the threshold for jeopardy. 
Therefore, Federal actions proposed within Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern or critical tortoise 
habitat are more likely to result in a jeopardy opinion. 
Mitigation measures are expected to be less stringent 
on projects located outside of Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern and critical habitat. Proposed 
changes in livestock grazing, mineral development, 
off-road-vehicle designations, and off-road-vehicle 
racing would reduce, but not eliminate, impacts to 
desert tortoise. The areas considered most important 
for tortoise recovery would be protected by Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern designation. 



Recreation Management 

Cumulative impacts to recreation will occur 
throughout the planning area as a result of the 
management of critical tortoise habitat and the transfer 
of public lands. The critical habitat designation and 
management restrictions imposed under the Tortoise 
Recovery Plan restricts casual use and organized off- 
road-vehicle activity. These limits and the loss of 
opportunities will cause a long-term shift of off-road- 
vehicle use to other areas and reduce options for 
current and future users. 

The transfer of public lands under the Eldorado Lands 
Act removed one of the most heavily used recreation 
areas in the Las Vegas area from public domain. 
Depending on future management of those lands, 
there could be losses in the major off-road-vehicle 
events, numerous other organized permitted activities, 
and many casual use recreation opportunities. The 
population growth to nearly 1.5 million people during 
the life of this plan would create millions of 
additional visitor days' use on the public lands. This 
additional use could result in increased user conflicts, 
overcrowding, and possible resource degradation at 
other areas in the Las Vegas BLM District that 
currently do not receive intensive recreational use. 



4-57 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Unavoidable Impacts 

Certain impacts or effects to resources that are 
considered to be unavoidable after general attempts at 
mitigation for designated actions are discussed below 
by resource. 



Air Quality 

Dust from various activities such as gravel pits, off- 
road-vehicle races, and construction activities will 
continue. Increased vehicle emissions are expected 
due to continued population increases, based on 
development in the planning area. Strict enforcement 
of State air quality standards may limit, but not 
eliminate, increases in pollutants from energy and 
industrial sources. 



Soil 

Areas open to off-road-vehicle use, new roads, flood 
control structures, sand and gravel pits, and industrial 
sites would result in soil compaction, loss and 
disturbance as described in this chapter. 



Water 

Springs and wells would not be used to water cattle or 
other domestic animals on allotments closed to 
livestock grazing. Overdrafting of ground water in 
the Las Vegas Valley would be expected to continue, 
unless additional injection wells are drilled to recharge 
the aquifer. Short-term impacts to water quality by 
grazing animals would continue until spring sources 
are protected by the appropriate means. 



Vegetation 

There would be loss of vegetation due to land 
disposal and subsequent development, gravel pit 
expansion, and other ground disturbing activities. 
There would be continued spread of introduced 
species from disturbance activities. Native plants 
would be lost due to any ground-disturbing activity. 



Visual Quality 

Construction of powerlines, whether in corridors or 
not, would reduce visual qualities and leave lasting 
changes of the landscapes line and form. 



Wildlife 

Some desert tortoise and other wildlife would be 
taken due to both permitted activities and casual use 
throughout the Las Vegas BLM District. Wildlife 
habitat would be lost or degraded whenever the 
surface vegetation is removed. 



Grazing 

Most livestock permittees would be out of business 
following closure of allotments to grazing. Land 
disposal for community growth would lead to limited 
grazing allotment closures. 



Wild Horse and Burro 

The Appropriate Management Level of any Herd 
Management Area would be zero in desert tortoise 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. Animals 
would be removed from other areas where populations 
exceed the Appropriate Management Level. 



Cultural Resources 

Inadvertent effects to cultural properties would occur 
in three types of situations. Casual recreational 
activities from uses such as driving off-road-vehicles, 
riding domesticated horses, riding all-terrain bicycles, 
and rock collectors could cause disturbances to 
archaeological features in high use areas. The second 
situation involves effects to sites from wildlife, which 
would animals grazing around waterholes and animals 
burrowing in locales where stratified deposits remain. 
The third situation would involve natural weathering 
processes that could move artifacts and disturb intact 
features through wind erosion, flooding, and ground- 
shifting. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Lands 

Desert Land Entries, Indian Allotments and Carey 
Acts would be denied due to lack of water or suitable 
soils. 



Irreversible Commitments 

• Disposal of public lands to nonpublic uses. 

• Loss of wilderness values in a Wilderness Study 
Area. 



Recreation 

Decreased opportunities for unrestricted off-road- 
vehicle use. Restrictions based on desert tortoise 
management are unavoidable. Closure of the (air 
quality) Non-attainment area to competitive off-road- 
vehicle events (except for Nellis Dunes) would cause 
a loss of traditional use areas and courses associated 
with Las Vegas Valley. 



Irretrievable Commitments 

• Loss of a ranching operation as a result of Resource 
Management Plan implementation. 

• Closure of allotments to grazing. 

• Construction or disposal that results in loss of 
cultural resources. 



Mining 

Some areas would be closed to mineral entry. 



Socioeconomics 

Property values could be lowered in areas where 
powerline corridors are designated. 

Some grazing permittees would need to accept the 
loss of a life-style and find another means to support 
a family. Impacts on the agriculture community 
would result from closure of allotments to grazing 
because fewer animals would go to market at sale 
yards. 



• Setting an Appropriate Management Level of zero 
for an Herd Management Area. 

• Loss of access to mineral potential as a result of 
implementing the Plan. 

• Loss of soil through wind and water erosion. 

• A loss of visual resources as a result of construction 
of roads, buildings, and powerlines (some of which 
is immediate and long term, as for powerlines). 

• Water and air quality degradation and soil loss due 
to mining, off-road-vehicles, grazing and powerline 
construction. 

• Loss of woodland sites for firewood potential. 



Irreversible And Irretrievable 
Commitment of Resources 

Irreversible commitments are those that cannot be 
reversed except perhaps in the extreme long term (100 
years or more). 

Irretrievable commitment of a resource is the loss of 
an opportunity for production or use of a renewable 
resource for a period of time. 



Irreversible and Irretrievable 
Commitments 

♦ Extraction of materials, as a result of mine 
development and sand and gravel pit expansion 

• Loss or destruction of wildlife and its habitat 
through construction and other permitted activities. 



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Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Relationship Between Short-Term Uses of 
the Human Environment and Maintenance 
and Enhancement of Long-Term 
Productivity 

Short-term uses are generally those that determine the 
present quality of life for the public. Long-term 
productivity refers to the capacity of the land to 
support sound ecosystems that produce resources such 
as forage, wildlife, and water. 

• The disposal of lands from Federal ownership, 
which is a short-term use, would preclude long- 
term use of those lands. This would provide for 
long-term, sustained community growth and 
agricultural development. 

Actions that improve vegetation conditions would 
result in an increase in long-term productivity of 
the resource. 

Locatable minerals development would be 
constrained by withdrawals and closure to mineral 
entries, resulting in long-term economic and 
production loss or delay in mineral activities on 
affected lands. 

• Changes in livestock grazing practices, including 
no grazing, would result in long-term 
improvement in riparian, hydrologic and 
vegetation conditions. The same kinds of 
restrictions would also result in the suspension of 
permittees' operations in the short-term and lead 
to long-term reduced levels of grazing on public 
lands. 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 



Introduction 

This chapter summarizes the preparation, public 
participation, consultation, and coordination 
activities conducted for the Proposed Las Vegas 
Resource Management Plan/Final Environmental 
Impact Statement, referenced frequently as The 
Plan. During preparation of this document, 
numerous formal and informal efforts were made 
to involve the public, various special interest 
groups and organizations, other Federal agencies, 
and state and local governments in the planning 
process, per 40 CFR 1502.25 and 43 CFR 
1610.3. 

An ongoing extensive data collection effort 
preceded the writing of The Plan. This process 
included data assembly, public participation, 
interagency coordination and consultation, and 
preparation of the Analysis of the Management 
Situation. It also included consultation and 
coordination requests to the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service for technical assistance for 
managing candidate species in the planning area, 
individual scoping meetings for local 
governments, and meetings with individual 
members of the general public and 
representatives of special interest groups and 
various organizations. Documentation of these 
consultation and coordination efforts and a 
complete mailing list of those contacted during 
the scoping process are on file in the Las Vegas 
BLM Field Office. 



Public Scoping/Participation 

The public participation process began in March 
1990 with publication of a Notice of Intent to 
prepare the Stateline Resource Management 
Plan/Environmental Impact Statement in the 
Federal Register (Volume 55, No. 60, 
Wednesday, March 28, 1990, page 11445). 

On March 29, 1990, approximately 1,400 initial 
scoping reports were distributed to a mailing list 
that included interested and affected individuals, 



State and Federal agencies, local governments, 
organizations, and private industry. Over 1,000 
additional scoping reports were requested and 
distributed throughout the scoping period. In 
addition, copies of the scoping report were 
available at all public meetings. 

The scoping report summarized tentative 
planning issues, preliminary criteria and 
alternatives, and resource concerns identified by 
BLM managers and resource specialists. The 
scoping report also described procedures for 
nominating Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. The public was specifically asked to: 

• Evaluate the scoping report 

• Identify additional issues, criteria, or 
concerns for analysis in the Draft Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement, hereafter known as, The Draft 
Plan. 

• Nominate Areas of Critical Environmental 
Concern. 

Locations, dates, and times of the nine public 
scoping meetings were also included in the 
scoping report. 

Copies of the scoping report and a news release 
announcing the scoping meetings were sent to 
218 individuals, organizations, newspapers, and 
radio and television stations throughout Nevada 
and some locations in California. 

The public scoping meetings were held to solicit 
comments on the tentative issues, the preliminary 
planning criteria, and alternatives. Nominations 
for Areas of Critical Environmental Concern 
were accepted during the scoping meetings. 

There were nine scoping meetings held 
throughout the District to help identify issues for 
consideration or analysis in the Resource 
Management Plan. A total of 198 interested 
public attended these meetings and voiced their 
concerns about management of public lands. The 
scoping period for the Stateline Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement generated 212 comment forms and 



5-1 



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Chapter - 5 Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS -May 1998 

letters. 

A Notice of Availability for The Draft Plan was 
published in the Federal Register (Vol. 57, No. 
113, Thursday, June 11, 1992). 

A Notice of Intent to supplement The Draft Plan 
was published in the Federal Register (Vol. 58, 
No. 126, Friday, July 2, 1993). 

A Notice of Availability for The Supplement was 
published in the Federal Register (Vol. 59, No. 
104, Wednesday, June 1, 1994). 



Consultation 

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act 
mandates consultation between the BLM and the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to 
authorization or implementation of any project 
that may affect any Federally threatened or 
endangered plant or animal species or their 
habitat. Technical assistance on candidate 
species was requested during the scoping period, 
and informal consultation on listed species is 
ongoing throughout the planning process. The 
Draft Plan and The Supplement were submitted 
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 
informal consultation for all listed species. The 
Plan was submitted for formal consultation in 
December 1997. 

Concurrent with development of The Plan, 
several other major planning efforts were in 
progress regarding die desert tortoise. Among 
them were Clark County's short and long-term 
Habitat Conservation Plans and the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service Tortoise Recovery Plan. The 
Plan was written to be consistent with both of 
these documents, which have since been 
completed . 

The Nevada Division of Wildlife was contacted 
concerning state-listed threatened and endangered 
wildlife and plant species. This plan is 
consistent with legislation protecting state-listed 
species. Coordination and consultation with the 
State of Nevada will be continued throughout the 
planning process and during implementation. 



The BLM cultural resource management program 
operates in accordance with 36 CFR, Part 60, 
which outlines specific procedures for 
consultation between BLM and the State Historic 
Preservation Office. A National Programmatic 
Agreement among the State Historic Preservation 
Office, the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation, and the BLM became effective in 
1997. When implemented in Nevada, this 
agreement will coordinate provisions of 36 CFR 
60 with existing BLM procedures, emphasizing 
Section 106 consultation. The agreement will 
also incorporate statewide protocol between BLM 
and the State Historic Preservation Office, 
establish reporting standards, and define 
undertakings and activities that require 
consultation. 



Coordination 

Coordination, as defined in this section, refers to 
efforts to achieve compatibility with other 
Federal, state, and local land use plans. Public 
scoping represents initial efforts to coordinate 
with other entities. All agencies listed at the end 
of this chapter received at least one copy of the 
scoping report. Most of the public scoping 
meetings were attended by representatives from 
local, state, or Federal entities. 

With the City of Las Vegas Planning Department 
acting as coordinator, public agency scoping 
meetings were scheduled early in the planning 
process. Invitations were extended to Clark 
County and all incorporated cities within the 
county. The first meeting was held May 8, 1990, 
and was attended by representatives from the 
planning departments of BLM, Clark County, and 
the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, and Boulder 
City. A follow-up meeting held May 30, 1990 
was attended by all parties from the first meeting, 
as well as representatives from the Regional 
Transportation Commission and Clark County 
Regional Flood Control District. A third meeting 
was held on July 12, 1990, between BLM and 
Clark County. 

Tonopah was the site of a June 5, 1990. meeting 
between BLM and representatives from Nye 
County Planning. 



5-2 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Written comments were received from various 
departments of the State of Nevada (including the 
State Clearinghouse), Inyo County, California, 
various town boards, town advisory boards, and 
Citizen's Advisory Committees. 

Other Federal agencies providing written 
comments included National Park Service 
(Western Region, Death Valley National 
Monument, and Lake Mead National Recreation 
Area), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Reno 
Field Station and Desert National Wildlife 
Refuge Complex), U.S. Forest Service (Mt. 
Charleston Ranger District), Environmental 
Protection Agency (Region IX), U.S. Bureau of 
Mines (Western Field Operations Center), and 
U.S. Air Force (Nellis Air Force Base). 



Public Review of the Draft, 
Supplement and Proposed Plan 

The Draft Plan and The Supplement were 
published and made available for a 90-day public 
comment period on June 11, 1992 and June 1, 
1994 respectively. Additional copies of The 
Draft and Supplement documents were 
distributed to numerous agencies and 
organizations, as well as many individuals. The 
Plan was mailed to everyone on the mailing list, 
which is included for review at the end of this 
chapter. The complete mailing list is located at 
the Las Vegas BLM Field Office at 4765 Vegas 
Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89108. 

A total of eight hearings were held throughout 
the district, seven for The Draft Plan and one for 
The Supplement. A combined total of 152 
speakers gave testimony for The Draft Plan and 
Supplement, 124 and 28 respectively. 



Written and Testimony Comments 

A total of 406 comment letters were received on 
The Draft Plan and Supplement, 340 and 66 
respectively. Written comments and questions 
were divided into 50 general categories to 
accommodate review and answering by staff 
specialists. 



Public comments and questions received during 
the scoping and planning process, including the 
various meetings and hearings, as well as the 
BLM's responses, are presented in Appendix 0. 
The presentation of comments and questions is 
arranged by resource programs in the same order 
as the resources are addressed in the Plan. Only 
those letters that addressed issues presented in 
the Draft Plan and Supplement are addressed in 
the appendix. All letters received are on file and 
available for review at the Las Vegas BLM Field 
Office, along with agency responses to individual 
comments and questions. 



Corrections in The Plan 

The following errors or inconsistencies in The 
Draft Plan and The Supplement were noted in 
public comments and corrected in The Plan. 



Air, Soils and Water Management 

On page 4-31 of The Draft Plan, the sentence 
"With proper mitigation and reclamation, mineral 
activities would adversely impact the soils in the 
short term," was changed to "With proper 
mitigation and reclamation, mineral exploration 
should not adversely impact the soils in the 
short-term. 

On page 2-38 of the Draft Plan, a reference was 
made to Appendix A, but should have been 
Appendixes B and C. Appendixes A-D are 
included in Appendix M in The Plan. In 
Chapters 3 and 4, the most current data was used 
for The Plan to state the Federal Ambient Air 
Quality Standard is PM10 (particles less than 10 
microns). 

Page 2-2 of The Supplement states, "Obtain 
water rights to springs associated with the 
grazing privilege for those allotments that are 
retired from livestock grazing. Maintain those 
waters for wildlife, wild horses and burros, and 
riparian habitat values." This statement was 
changed to, "Determine the amount of water 
needed to meet management objectives. File for 
appropriative water rights on public and acquired 
lands, in accordance with the State of Nevada 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



water laws, for those water sources that are not 
Federally reserved." 

Page 2-6 of The Supplement states, "Obtain 
water rights to base waters on grazing allotments 
which are closed and manage these for wildlife 
and riparian values." This measure was deleted 
for The Plan. 



Forestry 

Page 2-13 of The Supplement refers to wood 
cutting areas, but only one area is proposed. 
This error was corrected in The Plan to read that 
only one area is available for wood cutting. 



Livestock Grazing Management 

In The Draft Plan, there are inconsistencies in the 
numbers of active allotments. The 
inconsistencies were corrected. Maps 2-11 and 
2-27 are difficult to compare and the map 
legends are not accurate. The map legends were 
corrected and the maps clarified. 

Potential Natural Community and Desired Plant 
Community were not defined in The Draft Plan, 
but are defined in the Glossary of The Plan. 

Pages 4-96 and 4-145 of the Draft Plan are 
inconsistent with management of livestock. The 
error on page 4-96 was corrected to match 
information presented on page 4-145. 



U.S. Forest Service where Herd Management 
Areas extend across administrative boundaries, 
and with the National Park Service in areas 
where burros inhabit use areas crossing 
administrative boundaries." This revision was 
added to The Plan. 

In The Draft Plan, the animal numbers do not 
represent recently recorded data. The new data is 
reflected in The Plan. 

In The Supplement, Table S-l, the Wild Horse 
and Burro Program should be moved to Wild 
Horse and Burro section (Page S- 22). This was 
corrected for The Plan. 



Fish and Wildlife 

The lands in North Las Vegas called Category 2 
tortoise habitat in The Draft Plan are incorrectly 
identified. This error was corrected in The Plan 
as Category 3 habitat. 

In The Draft Plan, Table 3-7 (Estimated Bighorn 
Sheep Population Numbers), Map 3-8, and the 
Species lists in Appendix F and Appendix G 
were outdated. They were updated for The Plan, 
in Appendix A and B. 



Lands Management 

In The Draft Plan, Map 1-2 does not show the 
Kerr-McGee lands. The lands were identified in 
The Plan. 



Wild Horse and Burro 

The Draft Plan should have included a better 
discussion of constraints on wild horse and 
burros. A more complex discussion was added 
for The Plan. 

In The Draft Plan, the Valley of Fire State Park 
lands were included in the Las Vegas BLM 
District lands. This error was corrected in The 
Plan. 

Page 2-21 of the Draft Plan should be revised to 
state, "...coordinate herd management with the 



Volume II of The Draft Plan does not accurately 
describe the Eldorado Valley Act lands. These 
lands were accurately described with the final 
sale results in The Plan. 

In The Supplement, there are inconsistencies in 
Chapter 4 regarding visual impacts. This was 
corrected in The Plan. 



Minerals Management 

In The Draft Plan, the Special Management 
acreage in the Minerals Management section was 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



listed as 172,281 acres, and was changed to 
172,218 acres. 

Maps 3-17, 3-18 and 3-19 show the mineral 
potential classifications for lands, such as the 
Lake Mead National Recreation Area-managed 
acreage, as surface estate managed by BLM. 
Those maps were revised to show lands where 
the surface estate is not managed by BLM. 



Socioeconomics 

In the Draft Plan, the socioeconomics information 
in most programs, especially the Minerals 
Management section, does not reflect accurate 
data and consequently was updated in The Plan. 



Fire 

Fire management levels are incorrectly shown on 
the map on U.S. Forest Service lands. The map 
was determined not necessary and not carried 
forward to The Plan. 



Special Management Areas 

In Appendix E of The Draft Plan, the Crescent 
Area of Critical Environmental Concern 
nomination and the Amargosa Mesquite Area of 
Critical Environmental Concern were missing, 
because the nomination forms were inadvertently 
omitted.. This appendix was not carried forward 
to The Plan. 



List of Agencies, Organizations, 
Individuals and Other Offices 

Listed below are the various individuals, 
agencies, groups, and offices that are on the Las 
Vegas BLM Field Office mailing list. They were 
mailed copies of planning documents and notices 
as part of the consultation and coordination 
planning process of The Plan. 



Congressional Delegation 

U.S. Senator Richard Bryan 

U.S. Senator Harry Reid 

U.S. Congressman John Ensign 

U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Voucanovich 

(past) 
U.S. Congressman Jim Gibbons 

Federal Agencies 

Department of Agriculture 

U.S. Forest Service 

Soil Conservation Service 

Department of Defense 
Army Corps of Engineers 
Nellis Air Force Base 

Department of Energy 
Nevada Field Office 
Nevada Operations Office 

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
Office of Environmental Compliance 
Western Area Power Administration 
Yucca Mountain Project Office 

Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Indian Affairs 
Bureau of Mines 
Bureau of Reclamation 
Bureau of Land Management 

Alaska State Office 

Arizona State Office 

California State Office 

Colorado State Office 

Eastern States Office 

Idaho State Office 

Montana State Office 

Nevada State Office 

New Mexico State Office 

Oregon State Office 

Utah State Office 

Wyoming State Office 

Arizona Strip District 

California Desert District 

Barstow Resource Area 

Needles Resource Area 

Ridgecrest Resource Area 

Tonopah Resource Area 



5-5 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Battle Mountain Field Office 
Caliente Resource Area 
Carson City Field Office 
Elko Field Office 
Ely Field Office 
Las Vegas Field Office 
Winnemucca Field Office 
Field Solicitor 

Minerals Management Service 
National Park Service 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
U.S. Geological Survey 

Department of Transportation 
Federal Highway Administration 
Federal Aviation Administration 

Environmental Protection Agency 



State Agencies 

Arizona 

Game and Fish Department 

California 

Department of Fish and Game, Region 5 

Nevada 

Agency for Nuclear Projects 

Colorado River Commission 

Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses 

and Burros 
Conservation Commission 
Land Use Planning Advisory Committee 
Multiple Use Advisory Committee for Federal 

Lands 
Army National Guard 
Department of Agriculture 
Department of Industrial Relations 
Department of Minerals 
Department of Transportation 
Department of Wildlife 
Division of Forestry 
Division of Historic Preservation and 

Archaeology 
Division of State Lands 
Division of State Parks 
Military Department 
Nevada State Clearinghouse 



Office of the Governor 

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park 

State Senators and Assemblymen (Clark and Nye 

counties) 
University of Nevada-Reno Agriculture and 
Resource 

Economic Division 
American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical 
Society 
American Institute of Mining Engineers-Nevada 

Animal Sciences 
Department of Mining Engineering 
Department of Range, Wildlife, and Forestry 
Desert Research Institute 
Fleshman College of Agriculture 
Mackay School of Mines 

Plant, Soil, Water Resources 

Renewable Natural Resource Center 
University of Nevada-Las Vegas 
Barrick Museum of Natural History Center 

for Business and Economic Research 
(Departments of 

Anthropology, Biological Sciences, 
Geoscience, and 

Physics) 



Local Government 

Citizen's Advisory Councils 

Bunkerville 

East Las Vegas 

Goodsprings 

Indian Springs 

Moapa Valley 

Mt. Charleston 

Sandy Valley 

City of Boulder City 

City Council 

City Manager 

Community Development and Planning 

Department of Public Works 

Mayor 

Utilities 

City of Henderson 

City Council 

City Engineer 

City Manager 

Department of Parks and Recreation 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Department of Planning 

Department of Public Works 

Mayor 

Water and Sewer 

City of Las Vesas 

City Council 

City Manager 

Community Planning and Development 

Department of Public Works 

Mayor 

Parks and Leisure Activities 

City of Mesquite 
City Manager 

City of North Las Vesas 

City Council 

City Engineer 

City Manager 

Community Planning and Zoning 

Department of Parks and Recreation 

Department of Public Works 

Mayor 

Office of Economic Development 

Utilities 

Clark County 

Clerk 

Commissioners 

Community and Economic Development 

Community College 

County Manager 

Department of Comprehensive Planning 

Department of General Services 

Department of Parks and Recreation 

Health District 

Planning Commission 

Public Works 

School District 

Soil Conservation District 

Clark County Museum 

Clark County Regional Flood Control District 

Clark County Regional Transportation 

Commission 
Clark County Wildlife Advisory Board 

Inyo County. California 
Planning Department 

Nye County 



Commissioners 

Planning Department 

Road Department 

School District 

Town Boards 

Beatty 

Amargosa Valley 

Town Advisory Boards 

Bunkerville 

Moapa Valley 

Laughlin 

Mt. Charleston 

Searchlight 



Native American Councils 

Intertribal Council of Nevada 
Las Vegas Indian Center 



Public Libraries 

Amargosa Public Library 

Beatty Community Library 

Blue Diamond Library 

Boulder City Library 

Bunkerville Library 

Charleston Heights Library 

Clark County Community College 

Learning Resource Center 

Clark County Library 

Colorado State University 

Department of Interior Natural Resources Library 

Goodsprings Library 

Henderson Library 

Indian Springs Library 

Las Vegas Public Library 

Moapa Valley Library 

Mt. Charleston Public Library 

North Las Vegas Library 

Nye County Library 

Pahrump Public Library 

State of Nevada Library 

Sunrise Public Library 

University of Nevada-Las Vegas 

University of Nevada-Reno 

Virgin Valley Library 

Washoe County Library 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Organizations 

All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute 

American Alpine Institute 

American Mustang and Burro Registry 

American Rivers 

Archaeo-Nevada Society 

Best In The Desert Motorcycle Club 

Blue Ribbon Coalition 

Boulder City Chamber of Commerce 

Boulder Gem Club 

Bureau of Land Management Lands Foundation 

Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research 

Citizen Alert 

Clark County Gem Collectors 

Desert Bighorn Council 

Ecology Center of Southern California 

Environmental Defense Fund 

Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn 

Friends of Nevada Wilderness 

Friends of Red Rock Canyon 

Friends of the Mojave Road 

Friends of the River 

Frontier Girl Scout Council 

Groundshakers Motorcycle Club 

Henderson Chamber of Commerce 

High Desert Racing Assn. 

Humane Society of Southern Nevada 

International Society for the 

Protection of Mustangs and Burros 

Las Vegas Board of Realtors 

Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce 

Las Vegas Distance Riders Club 

Las Vegas District Advisory Council 

Las Vegas Gem Club 

Las Vegas League of Women Voters 

Legislative Counsel Bureau 

Lost City Museum 

Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada 

NAACP-Las Vegas Branch 

Natural Resource Defense Council 

National Speleological Society 

National Wildlife Federation 

Nevada Federation of Animal Protection 

Organizations 

Nevada League of Women Voters 

Nevada Natural Heritage Program 

North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce 

Partners for PFT 

Red Rock Audubon Society 

Sierra Club 



Silver Dust Racing Assn. 

Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts 

Soroptimist International 

Southern Nevada Clean Communities, Inc. 

Southern Nevada Grotto 

Southern Nevada Home Builders Assn. 

Southern Nevada Landcruisers 

Teamsters Local 631 

The Nature Conservancy 

The Wilderness Society 

Tri County Livestock Council 

U.S. Humane Society 

U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Foundation 

Wild Horse Organized Assistance, Inc. 



Businesses 

AeroTech 

Aggrandize Mining Company, Inc. 

AMAX Gold Inc 

American Borate Company 

American Sand and Gravel 

Andalex Resources 

Animal Protection Institute of America 

Associated Press 

Avery Engineering Company 

Baron Mining Corporation 

Bell Telephone Company of Nevada 

Black Canyon Mining Company 

Blystone Equipment Co. 

BO-K Explorations 

Bob Bottom, Inc. 

Boiling Construction 

Bow and Arrow Cattle Co. 

Brookline Mining Company 

CALNEV Pipeline Co. 

Charles H. Heisen and Associates 

Consolidated Minerals Mgmt. Corp. 

Converse Consultants 

Dames and Moore 

Delorda Mining Company 

Desert Echo 

Dimick Drilling 

Dixie Mining 

Eldorado Valley Mining Corp 

Energy Research Company, Inc. 

Frehner Construction Company, Inc. 

Galli Exploration USA 

G. C. Wallace, Inc. 

Gold Fields Mining Corporation 



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Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Grace Petroleum Corporation 

Henderson Home News 

Holchem Inc. 

Hollywood Gravel Co. 

Holnam, Inc. 

Homestake Mining Company 

H and W Minerals Company 

Idaho Power 

IMV 

Industrial Photographies 

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. 

James Hardie Gypsum 

Jetco Enterprises, Inc. 

Johnstone Supply 

J.R. Simplot Company 

Kern River Gas Transmission Co. 

Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation 

Key West Mining, Inc. 

Knight and Leavitt Associates, Inc. 

Krause/Thacke Mining and Minerals Co. 

KVBC TV (Channel 3) 

LAC Minerals (USA), Inc. 

Los Aangeles Department of Water and Power 

Las Vegas Paving Corporation 

Las Vegas Sun 

Las Vegas Valley Water District 

Lewis Homes 

Magnum Mining Company 

MEA, Inc. 

Mesquite Farmstead Water Assn. 

Micron Minerals Corporation 

Minerals Exploration Coalition 

Mitsubishi Cement 

Moapa Valley Telephone Company 

Monco Petroleum 

Nevada Environmental Consultants, Inc. 

Nevada Cobalt Industries, Inc. 

Nevada Pacific Company, Inc. 

Nevada Power Company 

Noble-Tech Group, Ltd. 

Oglebay Norton Company 

Osage Industries 

Oxbow Power Corporation 

PABCO Gypsum 

Pathfinder Gold Mines Corp. 

Planning Information Corporation 

Popular Mining Magazine 

Precision Asphalt and Grading 

Public Land News 

R.A.M.M. Corporation 

R.B. Peterson Construction Company 



Red Corral Mines 

Resource Concepts, Inc. 

Ruby Drilling Company, Inc. 

Science Applications International Corporation 

Santa Fe Pacific Mining Company 

Sierra Pacific Power Company 

Silver State Disposal Company 

Silver State Materials Corp. 

Simplot Silica Products 

Sky's The Limit, Inc. 

Skyline Construction Company, Inc. 

Snowbird Resources Limited 

Southern California Edison 

Southern Nevada Mining Partners 

Southern Nevada Paving, Inc. 

Southwest Gas Corporation 

S & S Geologic Consulting Services 

Standard Industrial Minerals, Inc. 

Stateline Resources, Inc. 

St. Joe Gold Corp. 

Stocks Mill and Supply Company, Inc. 

Sundance Realty and Development 

TAMETIC 

Tele-Reservations 

U.S. Borax and Chemical Corporation 

U.S. Engineering and Mining Company 

United States Resources, Inc. 

Valley Ready Mix 

Van Sickle Enterprises 

Viceroy Gold Corporation 

Vosburg Equipment 

VTN 

Washington Contractors Group 

Western Range Service 

Western Rock Products 

Whiting Brothers, Inc. 

Wil-Tel Communications 

Wittwer Ranch 

WMK 



Individuals 

Aaron L. Clark 
Abe Teerlink 
Al Atwell 
Amy Mazza 
Andrea L. Sweet 
Audrey Bradbury 
Barbara Rodgers 
Bart and Jean Pearson 



5-9 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Ben Brown 
Betty J. Rivers 
Bill Fleshman 
Bill Shapley 
Billy B. Crank 
Bob Moss 
Bob Collette 
Bob and Rita Pribila 
Bret Braden 
Bryce Gubler 
Bruce Canfield 
Byron and Ellie Green 

C. A. Lewis 
Carl Semon 
Carl Volkmar 
Carol Jacobson 
Charles Carson 
Charles D. Snow 
Charles Luzier 
Charles P. Van Epps 
Charlie Lam 

Cheri Madison 

Chris Mitchell 

Chuck Garrett 

Clay Mills 

Colonel Scott C. Bergren 

Craig Walton 

Cris Trolson 

Dan Mundy 

Daniel C. Thorne 

Dave Naslund 

David and Mary Deitrich 

David Donnelly 

David Hinkson 

David L. Platerio 

David Meshard 

David Pierce 

Deborah Collins 

Dennis B. Whitmor 

Dennis and Lola Egan 

Derril Wenzel 

Donald G. and Connie R. Whitney 

Donna Geiser 

Douglas E. Noland 

D. R. Moody 

Dr. Stanley E. Jones 

Earl Gregory 

Eddy Dean 

Ed Pribyl 

Edward and Adriane Wheeler 

Edwin O. Larson 



Emerson Leavitt 

Ernest and Marge Sandquist 

E. R. Riggs 

Evan Blythin 

Evelyn Hartin 

Frank Buckley 

Frank Maxwell 

Franklin Rittenhouse 

Fred Hansen 

Gail D. Armstrong 

Garry Hayes 

Gary Bullard 

George Austin 

George D. Fehr 

George H. Reed 

George Moehr 

Gladys Feinn 

Glenn Stone 

Greg Gault 

Hardy H. Seglor 

Harley Dickensheets 

Harold C. Anderson 

Harold Fischer 

Harold Wittwer 

Harry Pappas 

Herbert M. Jones, Esq. 

H. W. Gulley 

Ivan G. Pivaroff 

Jack Baker 

Jack Woodcock 

Jeff Landers 

Jeff Van Ee 

Jerry Riggs 

Jim Sallee 

Jo and Don Noble 

Joe Geary 

Joe and David Jones 

John A. Davenport 

John Clark 

John and Delia Yeager 

John L. Grassmeier 

John Peplowski 

John P. Rich 

John Sherman 

John Steele 

John W. Arlidge 

Joseph H. Robertson 

Joseph Puckett 

Joyce Stalians 

Julene P. Ha worth 

Katherine Goudreau 



5-10 



■ _ _ ._.... 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Keith Kindred 

Keith and Marilyn Nay 

Ken Jensen 

Kent Tim Hafen 

Kirk Harrison 

LaRene Younghans 

Larry Isbell 

Larry P. Brundy 

Lee Halsey 

Lee Kapaloski 

Lee, Paul, and David Ziegler 

Len Haeckel 

Leo C. Artman 

Leon Sprouse 

Linda Sanders 

Lionel Tyree 

L. Levy 

Lorin Bunker 

Louis Koncher 

Lt. Craig Klatt 

Malcolm J. Reeves 

Manning J. Post 

M. R. Rambo 

Marjorie Sill 

Mark A. Sorensen, P.E. 

Mark Royce 

Mark Say lor 

Marvin Veneman 

Mary Hibbs 

M. Dean Webb 

Melburn Jensen 

Michael Kirk, D.V.M. 

Michele Spruell 

Mike Payne 

Mike Verchick 

Milton Linn 

Mr. Melburn Jensen 

Mr. Mildred K. Kaunas 

Pat Foley 

Paul E. Huish 

Paul Selzer 

Paul and Timothy Austin 

Perry Bowman 

Peter Gattuso 

Randal Grandstaff 

Ray Ausmus 

Ray Lindblom 

Raymond Sunday 

R. E. Bob King 

Rex Goodell 

R. H. Cronshey 



Richard Arnold 

Richard C. MacDonald 

Richard J. Mitchell 

Richard Peters 

Richard Thurmond 

R. James Steward 

Robert B. Leydecker, Jr. 

Robert C. Broadbent Jr. 

Robert and Joan Michel 

Robert Kerr 

Robert Murphy and Evangeline Brown 

Robert Stoldal 

Robert W. Maichle 

Roland Holmes 

Ronald M. Newell 

Ron and Ann Schreiber 

Ron L., Ron W., and Leslie Hardy 

Ron Rudin Realty 

Rose Strickland 

Russell F. Miller 

Ruth Sunday 

Sal Fish 

Sandy McFarlane 

Sanford and Marilyn Shuler 

Scott Margetts 

Scott Obney 

Shirley and Wayne Leavitt 

Spencer Apple 

Stanley Pierce 

Steve Hailey 

Steven Reiter 

Team Loomis, Off -Highway Training 

The C. L. Hesters 

Thomas Davis 

Thomas L. Williams 

Tim Boyce 

Tom Mannillo 

Walter Barbuck 

William A. Kelley 

William J. Herbert, Jr. 

William R. Hodges 

William and Toni Dixson 

William Lescenski 

William Pautle 



5-11 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



LIST OF PREPARERS 



The Las Vegas Proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement was prepared 
by specialists from the Las Vegas Field Office. Planning, resource, and printing staff from the Nevada State 
Office provided technical reviews and support. The Ely Field Office completed the Desert Tortoise Cumulative 
Impact Analysis in Appendix I. Tables 5-1, 5-2, and 5-3 list the individuals and their responsibilities in the 
preparation of this document. 



Table 5-1. List of preparers. 







Education and 


Years of 




Assignment 


Qualifications 


Experience 


Roger Alexander 


::Tearn : Leader A- :: 


: : .; : ■■ B . S. -Wife; : I s :Scllllllll 


20 


Jern/ W.cxstrom 


Team Leader (after 7/91) 


B.S.-Wlldlife Science 


30 relireo 


Jeff Stein metz 


Team Leader (after 9/94) 


:: B.S.-Range Management 


: : ; -' 20:::::; 


Jeanie Go;e 


Wildlife Habitat Mgmt. 

Aquatic Habitat Mgmt. 

ACECs 


B.S.-Wiidlife Ecology 


■■'- ■: 


Tom Cook 


: Geology, Minerals 


.:■■■■■■■ B.S, -Geography . 

S.S.-Geolcgy 

B.S.S.A.-Accountrng 

iviS.-Accouruancy 


19 






M.B.A.- Business Administration 


Sharon DIPinto 


Lands, Rights-of-Way, 
Acquisitions 




19 


■ Gary McFadden 


Wiid Horse & Burro Mgmt., 


; : B ,S.- Rang e Animal Science 


:■■:■■ :23- -^^^^^ :::: 


Kathy Helm 


Technical Wn ter/Edito r 




16 


Rebecca Lange 


Geology and Minerals 


B.A. Geology 


15 


Joe! Mur 


: Red: Rock: : Ga ny on N C A 


BA-Liberal Arts 
B.S. -Natural Resources/ 








Recreation Lands MgmL 


21 


Keith Myhrer 


Cultural Resources, 

PaleontpiogiCai Resources 


MA-Anthrcpoiogy 


5 USAF 


Pauf Myers 


;■'.' Socio-Economlcs 


:: : : : B . S.-Ecdhom ics : : 


20 


Jack Norman 


; Soils and Hydrology 


B.S. Soil Science 


18 


Gary Pavusko 


Fire Management 


A.A.S.-Fire Science Mgmt. 

A.A.S.-Fire Science Tech. 

B.S.-Natura! Resource 

Consen/ation 


12 CDF 


Jake Rajala 


Desert Tortoise Cumulative 


M.A. Anthropology 
M.S. Forestry & Range 








B . A . Anth ropofogy 


_■ 


::::: Donn Slebert 


Air Resources, Soils, 


B.S.-Watershed Mgmt. 


-:$ 




Water Resources, 


S.S.-Forest Mgmt, 





Riparian Mgmt, 
Robert Taylor GiS Supoorv 

Dave Wolf Recreation. Wilderness, 

VRM, Wild & Scenic Rivers, 



B.S. Landscape Architect 22 

B.S.-Wiidlife Management 

B.S. Recreation 23 



5-12 



?;■■. 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 5-2. List of reviewers and technical support and guidance. 



■.-Re.so.uf 



tent Specialist Las 



>gas Field 



lies 



Randy McNatt 
Margaret Wolf 
Mary Clark 
Neil Talbot 



Land Law Exami 
Planning/Environ 



Nevada State Office 



ii ilium ii minium mm 



MMHHBBBHBBBHaaaMMMIMBBHgBHmi 



« aMMMMM ™«ii i i i i iii iiii i iiiii iiii i iyi i m i i i n i ii iiii i mi ra mwm 



5-13 



Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Table 5-3. Management support and guidance. 



Name 



: OVsWart V/'* 



Title 


niiiiiiiiihWiiyiiiiiiii .nnmhYiVi 


Office 


State Director 


Nevada State Office 


Special Assistat 




r . : Nevada State Office 


uivisior^^wifiifiitv 


IV*in0TQtS' (VfCJL 


Nevada State Office 



Sta 
Sta 



cer 



as 



ytas 



5-14 



Chapter 6 - Implementation, Maintenance and Amendment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Chapter 6 - Plan Implementation, Maintenance, and Amendment 



Introduction 



Plan Maintenance 



The Las Vegas District Resource Management 
Plan is designed to provide the framework for 
managing public lands in the Las Vegas BLM 
District for a period of approximately 20 years. 
To accomplish this goal, the planning process 
must provide for changes in the terms, 
conditions, and decisions of the Approved 
Resource Management Plan, in response to 
unforeseen future demands or events. 



Plan Implementation 

Following approval of the resource management 
plan, the BLM will implement the management 
actions of this plan. The following standard 
operating procedures will be followed during 
plan implementation to mitigate the impacts of 
those management actions. 



The Las Vegas District Resource Management 
Plan will be maintained as necessary to reflect 
minor changes in data. Situations requiring plan 
maintenance include changing acreage figures to 
reflect recent land disposals or acquisitions, to 
reflect new legislation, and to provide new 
language clarifying a decision, term, or condition. 
Maintenance of the Plan cannot expand the scope 
of a resource use or a restriction, nor can it 
change the terms, conditions, and decisions of an 
approved Resource Management Plan. Plan 
maintenance does not require formal public 
involvement, interagency coordination, or the 
preparation of an environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement. Any 
maintenance must, however, be documented in 
the Plan and supporting records. 



Plan Amendments 



Standard Operating Procedures 

1. Management actions will conform to all 
laws, Executive Orders, regulations, 
Memoranda of Understanding, Cooperative 
Management Agreements, Department of 
Interior manuals, BLM manuals, and BLM 
Instruction Memoranda. 

2. All management actions will require an 
environmental analysis prior to 
implementation. The environmental 
assessment process will evaluate the 
proposed action for conformance with 
applicable laws and regulations. If the 
assessment determines there is potential for 
significant impacts that cannot be mitigated, 
the proposed action will be modified or 
abandoned. 



The Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(1976) requires that all actions occurring on 
public land conform to an approved land use 
plan. The BLM regularly receives proposals, 
applications, and requests for uses that are not in 
conformance with an approved land use plan. 
Approval of any of these proposals would alter 
the scope of a resource use or use restriction; or 
change the terms, conditions, or decisions of the 
Resource Management Plan. In this situation, the 
Bureau has two options: (1) to deny the request 
or application, based on non-conformance with 
the approved land use plan, or (2) to initiate the 
plan amendment process. 

The plan amendment process may also be 
initiated at any time by the BLM State Director, 
in response to new data obtained from plan 
monitoring and evaluation; new or revised policy; 
changes in the scope of a resource use or a use 
restriction; and any changes in the terms, 
conditions, or decisions of the Resource 
Management Plan. 



6-1 



Chapter 6 - Plan Implementation, Maintenance and Amendment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



I 



The decision to initiate the plan amendment 
process does not guarantee that the proposed plan 
amendment will be approved. The proposed 
amendment will be analyzed in accordance with 
the planning regulations and receive an 
appropriate level of environmental analysis, 
public participation, and interagency coordination 
(including consistency determinations with other 
approved Federal, state, and local land use 
plans), prior to the Bureau's final decision. 

Based on the significance of the anticipated 
environmental impacts from the specific proposal 
and the significance of the anticipated change to 
the Resource Management Plan, plan 
amendments are categorized as described below: 

• Cateson 1 - The proposed amendment, 
based on preliminary analysis, would not 
involve a significant change in the goals, 
objectives, terms, conditions, or decisions 
of the Resource Management Plan and 
would not result in a significant 
environmental impact. An Environmental 
Impact Statement would not be required, 
and the proposed plan amendment would 
be analyzed in an environmental 
assessment. 

• Category 2 - The proposed amendment, 
based on preliminary analysis, would 
involve a significant change in the goals, 
objectives, terms, conditions, or decisions 
of the Resource Management Plan, and 
would result in a significant environmental 
impact. An Environmental Impact 
Statement would, therefore, be required. 



Plan Amendment Process 

The plan amendment process for the Las Vegas 
District Resource Management Plan will be 
conducted on an annual basis, except in special 
circumstances where the State Director requires 
that the process begin immediately. In March of 
every year following approval of the Resource 
Management Plan, a 30-day time period will be 
designated for the purpose of submitting 
proposed amendments to the Las Vegas District 
Manager. Public notification of the submission 



period will be published in the Federal Register, 
news releases will be distributed to all major 
media sources in Nevada; and a notice will be 
sent to all individuals, organizations, agencies, 
and other entities who have requested to be on 
the Planning Mailing List. 

All proposed amendments submitted during this 
time period will be evaluated to: 

• Determine if the proposed amendment is in 
accordance with applicable laws and 
regulations and provides for the immediate 
and future management, use, development, 
and protection of the public lands within the 
Las Vegas BLM District. The BLM Las 
Vegas District Manager will base the 
rationale for such determination on the 
principles of multiple use, sustained yield, 
and maintenance of environmental quality, as 
required in the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976. 

Determine if alternative locations within the 
Las Vegas District are available to meet the 
applicant's needs without requiring a change 
in the Resource Management Plan's 
classification or an amendment to any plan 
element. 

The following criteria must be present before a 
plan amendment will be considered: 

• The proposed amendment is based on new 
data not considered when the plan was 
developed. 

The information represents a change in legal 
or regulatory mandate. 

• The supporting detail is sufficient and the 
problem is clearly stated to allow 
consideration of the request. 

• The information represents a formal change 
in State or local government or agency plans. 

If the proposed amendment cannot be considered 
due to legal or regulatory constraints or to 
improper submission, or if the situation can be 
resolved without a plan amendment, the 
amendment process will end at this point. 



6-2 



Chapter 6 - Implementation, Maintenance and Amendment 




Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 


If a determination is made by the Las Vegas 


• Provide a 30-day protest period. 


BLM District Manager to proceed with the 


• Resolve any protests. 


amendment process, the proposed plan 


• Prepare Approved Plan Amendment/Decision 


amendments will be presented to the Resource 


Record. 


Advisory Council for discussion and 




recommendations. The Council will serve only 




i in an advisory capacity and their 


Category 2 Amendment 


recommendations will not be binding on the 




District Manager. 


• Issue Notice Of Intent to prepare a plan 




amendment/Environmental Impact Statement. 


The recommendations of the District Manager 


• Provide a 30-day public scoping period. 


and the Resource Advisory Council will be 


• Identify issues related to the proposed plan 


forwarded to the State Director, who will decide 


amendment and review existing Resource 


to either: 


Management Plan planning criteria. Revise 




the criteria, if necessary, and provide for 


• Reject the proposed plan amendment, in which 


public comments on the revised criteria. 


case the requestor will be notified of the 


Collect necessary data, review the existing 


decision and its rationale. 


Analysis of the Management Situation as it 




applies to the proposed amendment, and 


• Further consider the proposed plan amendment, 


revise as necessary. Formulate alternatives 


in which case the Director will determine the 


and estimate the effects of implementing any 


category of the amendment with regard to the 


of these alternatives. 


level of environmental analysis. The Bureau 


Prepare Draft Plan 


will then proceed with the amendment process, 


Amendment/Environmental Impact 


as indicated below. 


Statement. 



Category 1 Amendment 

• Issue Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a plan 
amendment. 

• Provide a 30-day public review and comment 
period. 

• Identify issues related to the proposed plan 
amendment and review existing Resource 
Management Plan planning criteria. Revise the 
planning criteria, if necessary, and provide for 
public comments on the revised criteria. 
Collect necessary data, review the existing 
Analysis of the Management Situation as it 
applies to the proposed amendment, and revise 
as needed. Formulate alternatives and estimate 
effects of implementing any of these 
alternatives. 

• Prepare Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). 

• Provide for 60-day Governor's Consistency 
Review. 

• Issue Notice of Availability (NOA) for 
Proposed Plan Amendment/Environmental 
Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact. 



Provide for 90-day public comment and 

review period. 

Analyze comments and prepare Proposed 

Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact 

Statement. 

Issue Notice of Availability for Proposed 

Plan Amendment/Final Environmental Impact 

Statement. 

Provide 30-day protest period and 60-day 

Governor's Consistency Review. 

Resolve any protests. 

Prepare Approved Plan Amendment/Record 

of Decision. 



Plan Amendment Information 

All requests for amendment must be submitted to 
the Las Vegas BLM District Manager at the 
following address: 



Bureau of Land Management 
Attention: District Manager 
4765 Vegas Drive 
Las Vegas, NV 89108 



6-3 



Chapter 6 - Plan Implementation, Maintenance and Amendment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Information Required from 
Individuals and Organizations 

Requests for a plan amendment from individuals, 
private groups, organizations, and businesses 
must contain the following information: 

♦ Reason for the request, including: (1) 
explanation of any adverse effects on an 
individual, group, organization, or business by 
existing requirements or management 
objectives in the Resource Management Plan, 
or (2) description of new data or circumstances 
attributed to the need to amend the Resource 
Management Plan. 

• Description of the proposed plan amendment, 
including objectives, direction, and actions. 



Information Required from 
Governmental Agencies 

Cities 

Requests for a plan amendment from an 
incorporated city must contain the following 
information: 

• Approval of the request by vote of the 
appropriate City Council. 

• Reason for request, including: (1) explanation 
of any adverse effects on the city by the 
Resource Management Plan or parts thereof, or 
(2) description of new data or circumstances 
attributed to the need to amend the Resource 
Management Plan. 

• Description of the proposed plan amendment, 
including objectives, direction, and actions, as 
well as supportive data explaining the necessity 
of the proposed amendment for consistency 
with officially adopted city land use plans. 

County 

Requests for a plan amendment from Clark or 
Nye County must contain the following 
information: 



• Approval of the request by vote of the 
appropriate County Commissioners. 

• Reasons for the request, including: (1) 
explanation of any adverse effects by the 
Resource Management Plan, or parts thereof, or 
(2) description of new data or circumstances 
attributed to the need to amend the Resource 
Management Plan. 

• Description of the proposed plan amendment, 
including objectives, direction, and actions, as 
well as supportive data explaining the necessity 
of the proposed amendment for consistency 
with officially adopted county land use plans. 

State 

Requests for plan amendment from the 
Legislative or Executive Branch of the State of 
Nevada must contain the following: 

• Approval of the Executive Director or 
Secretary of the submitting agency, after 
demonstrating coordination with other 
potentially affected State agencies. 

• Reasons for the request, including (1) 
explanation of any adverse effects on the State 
by the Resource Management Plan, or parts 
thereof; or (2) description of new data or 
circumstances attributed to the need to amend 
the Resource Management Plan. 

• Description of the proposed plan amendment, 
including objectives, direction, and actions, as 
well as supportive data explaining the necessity 
of the proposed amendment for consistency 
with adopted State plans or programs. 

Federal Agency 

Requests for plan amendment from a department, 
office, or bureau of the Executive Branch of the 
United States Government (other than BLM) 
must contain the following: 

• Approval by the director of the submitting 
department, office, or bureau. 



6-4 



Chapter 6 - Implementation, Maintenance and Amendment 
Las Vegas Proposed RMP/FEIS - May 1998 



Reasons for the request, including: (1) 
explanation of any adverse effects on the 
agency by the Resource Management Plan, or 
parts thereof, or (2) description of new data or 
circumstances attributed to the need to amend 
the Resource Management Plan. 

Description of the proposed plan amendment, 
including objectives, direction, and actions, as 
well as supportive data explaining the necessity 
of the plan amendment for consistency with 
officially adopted plans or programs. 



4U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1998-683-040/60008 



6-5 



Notes 



Notes 



Notes 



Notes 



United States 

Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

Las Vegas Field Office 

4765 West Vegas Drive 

Las Vegas, NV 89108-5000 



AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER 



FIRST-CLASS MAIL 

POSTAGE AND FEES PAID 

U.S. Department of the Interior 

Permit No. G-76 



OFFICIAL BUSINESS 
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE, $300